- Canada’s banks employ more than 280,000 Canadians
- Canadian banks also employ more than 110,000 people in other countries
The bottom line
More than a quarter of a million Canadians are bank employees. Banks and their subsidiaries contribute significantly to job creation and to Canada’s labour market and many of the banks’ human resources policies and practices are at the leading edge.
Technology, competition and globalization continue to be major drivers of jobs in the banking industry. New technologies have resulted in the replacement of many routine transaction-based jobs with knowledge-intensive positions. These new jobs focus on building in-depth, value-added customer relationships. In keeping with this trend, banks are recruiting employees with higher education or skill levels. Existing employees are given opportunities to upgrade their skills through ongoing training and education. Recent growth areas have included corporate governance, and business management and product development.
Both the quality and the number of jobs are consistently high in the banking industry. Full-time jobs reached 87.5%, the highest it has been in the past 20 years.
Payroll taxes and employee benefits
Banks and their subsidiaries paid an estimated $30 billion in salaries and benefits in Canada in 2019.1 And Canada’s six largest banks paid about $1.46 billion in payroll taxes for 2019, including Employment Insurance, CPP and QPP premiums, and Employer Health Tax (where applicable). Banks also offer comprehensive benefit programs and pension plans to all employees who qualify, including those who work part-time. A wide range of support services is available to all employees, including employee assistance programs, career counselling, flexible work options,
other assistance for balancing employees’ evolving work/life
obligations and training programs.
Training and development
Canada’s banks are leaders in professional development. As part of their commitment to continuous learning, banks offer employees an array of educational programs through traditional and electronic channels. Courses vary from bank to bank, but may include sales and service, risk, ethics, corporate values, information technology, and management and leadership skills.
Indirect contributions to employment
The banking industry is a major purchaser of goods and services from outside suppliers, spending an estimated $24.3 billion in 2022.
Diversity and inclusion
The banks are committed to fostering a diverse workforce and enabling inclusive leaders. They proactively implement diverse hiring practices including specific programs for newcomers. They also provide inclusive training and support for employee resource groups, as well as engage in community outreach programs to promote diversity and inclusion. The banks also build a barrier-free culture in their workforces. Through attracting, retaining and growing a diverse talent pool, banks in turn are able to serve the needs and goals of a diverse group of customers and make a difference in the community.
Banks were among the first organizations to grasp the long-term demographic and labour market significance of Canada’s Employment Equity Act in addition to its human rights aspects. They quickly became leaders in the ongoing effort to build representative workforces and were the first to articulate a business case for equity and diversity at work. The law requires federally regulated employers to collect annual data on four designated groups (see below) although the banks support broader concepts of diversity and inclusiveness.
Source: Bank Employment Equity Returns
As of 2022, women constitute 54.5 per cent (134,921) of the workforce at Canada’s six largest banks (excluding subsidiaries), substantially more than any other federally regulated sector. Women occupied 39.4 per cent of senior management positions2 and 48.5 per cent of all middle management positions, exceeding the federal government’s benchmarks at both levels. In total, 46.8 per cent of all professional jobs in banks are held by women.
Representation by people in visible minorities reached 42.6 per cent in 2022 accounting for 22.7 per cent of all senior management positions; 38.6 per cent of all middle management jobs, and 45 per cent of all professional positions. These numbers exceed those in the external labour force (the federal government’s benchmark). They also exceed representation of visible minorities in the other federally regulated industries and in the federal public sector.
People with disabilities
Representation of people with disabilities in the large six banks reached 7.3 per cent in 2022. The banks continue to work on initiatives to promote and sustain employment of people with disabilities.
In 2022, the six banks employed just over 3,500 Indigenous people keeping the level of representation steady. This is another group with whom banks are making special efforts to increase representation and advancement.
1 Total for seven banks: RBC, TD, CIBC, BNS, BMO, NBC and HSBC.
2 “senior management” position as defined as by the federal government i.e. employees holding the most senior positions in large firms or corporations, including executive level positions.