RBC’s mortgage arm is way ahead of the pack

During fiscal Q1, the bank’s domestic book saw its largest annual increase in more than a decade

RBC’s mortgage arm is way ahead of the pack

Royal Bank of Canada continues to pull ahead of its competitors in the mortgage lending sphere, amid signs of an intensifying national housing market.

Currently the nation’s largest mortgage lender, RBC posted an average balance of $271.8 billion for its domestic book during the fiscal first quarter, rising by 8.6% year-over-year.

This represented the largest annual increase for this metric in more than a decade, and pushed RBC’s share in the Canadian mortgage market up to 27.4%. The bank now considerably outstrips the mortgage businesses of TD Bank, BMO, and Scotiabank.

RBC’s strong growth came with record-high housing prices in major urban markets such as Toronto. As of December, the national mortgage market stood at $1.63 trillion, which was 4.9% higher annually.

“We are bringing a broader spectrum of advice and solutions to our clients, and when we do that we expect to continue to increase market share,” RBC chief financial officer Rod Bolger told Bloomberg in a phone interview.

“It’s demonstrative of our investments both in digital and distribution and talent,” Bolger added. “We had been adding resources in the field while some of our competition was reducing their face-to-face advice.”

Among these innovations are a mobile banking solutions suite, an AI-powered property search platform for Greater Toronto (called OJO Home), and an online concierge for moving (called MoveSnap).