By The Canadian Press on December 21, 2023.
OTTAWA – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has approved RBC’s $13.5-billion takeover of HSBC Canada despite calls from opposition politicians and other groups to block it.
Freeland’s approval was the last hurdle for the deal, after the Competition Bureau approved it in September.
The minister’s approval comes with conditions on RBC, including that HSBC’s Canadian workforce be protected and that banking services continue to be provided at a minimum of 33 HSBC branches for four years.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had called for the deal to be blocked, saying Canada’s banking sector is overly concentrated and the loss of HSBC Canada will only make it worse.
The House of Commons finance committee also expressed concerns that it would hurt competition.
RBC chief executive Dave McKay has said a rejection of the deal would have been a bad signal to foreign investors.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2023.
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