Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is pushing ahead with his plan to open two new financial institutions in Canada.
Poloz’s decision comes amid growing international pressure to boost the role of financial institutions and curb the growing power of corporate boards.
Polos plans to open Bank of Montreal and Bank of Toronto-Dominion bank branches in Quebec in the coming months.
The banks are expected to open within months.
A bank would serve as a new financial infrastructure for small businesses and would be managed by a private, non-profit organization.
The move would also help diversify the bank’s portfolio and could help the economy expand, the bank said.
“Our mandate is to help Canadians prosper, and we will continue to invest in the growth and development of our nation’s economy,” Poloz said in a statement.
Polins decision follows a recent wave of bank closings in the United States and Europe.
Banks in Canada closed about 5.5% of their branches last year, down from more than 7% a year earlier.
A large part of the drop was due to the economic downturn.
“The current financial crisis has not been limited to Canada.
We have seen the effect of the recession in other parts of the world and we know that it is likely to continue to have a significant impact in Canada,” Polos said.
Bank of Nova Scotia closed almost 5% of its branches last December, down almost 20% from the same period last year.
The Nova Scotia branch opened last month in Montreal.
Bank Cairn closed about 4.5%, down from almost 7% in January.
The Canadian branch opened in Toronto in February.
Bank BMO closed about 2% of the branches it has in Canada last year and closed about 8% in the U.S. in December.