Toronto is home to the world’s soundest banks. According to The Banker’s 2017 report on international financial centres Toronto ranked eighth overall and among the world’s top 10 for total bank assets.

The Canadian banking industry, headquartered in Toronto, is an essential contributor to the economic growth and well-being of the city. Canada’s five largest domestic banks have their head offices in Toronto. Of the 50 foreign-based banks operating in Canada, 44 have their Canadian head offices in the Toronto region. The industry is also a major employer, representing almost half of total employment within the city’s financial sector.

The Canadian system has two primary regulators: the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) for prudential regulation and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) for financial consumer matters.

Coupled with a strong working relationship among regulators, the industry and government, the stability and effectiveness of our regulatory framework makes Toronto an attractive banking environment.

Asset management

Toronto has a large pool of competitive asset management companies and expertise. It has ranked ninth in the world for its specialty in investment management and ninth in professional services (GFCI 20 - 2016).

Toronto is also home to three of the world’s 60 largest pension funds – Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and OMERS – which combined have more than $300 billion in assets under management. Toronto’s large pension funds have a worldwide reputation for excellence in governance, risk management and innovative approaches to asset management. The Canadian pension system has been ranked 6th overall in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.

Toronto also has a leading-edge thinking and research on pension management through International Centre for Pension Management. The ICPM is a global think-tank that fosters more effective pension design and management through research, publications, forums and governance education. More than 30 international pension organizations contribute to the centre.


The strongest and most globally oriented insurance industries in the world are taking place in Toronto. It is continuously developing innovative products to reflect and anticipate the changing consumer needs and expectations.

Over 60 life and health insurers have their head offices in the Toronto region. Three of these firms – Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial and Great West Lifeco – rank among the top 15 in the world, based on market capitalization. With over $740 billion in long-term investments in Canada, the industry is one of the country’s most important sources of long-term capital and employment.

Mining/Energy and clean tech

Toronto is the mine financing capital of the world. It is also a global centre for related legal, accounting, engineering and geological expertise. Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) are:

  • #1 among exchanges worldwide in number of mining companies listed
  • #1 among exchanges worldwide in equity capital raised
  • Home to 43 per cent of the world’s public mining companies
  • Global leaders in the number of listed oil and gas and clean technology companies
  • Financing a cleaner, greener future

The TSX and TSXV in 2015 saw:

  • 29 new mining listings
  • 40 billion shares traded
  • $6.8 billion in equity capital raised representing 90 per cent of all global equity financings


Location, tech talent, and competitive business environment: Toronto has all the ingredients to create a world-class Fintech cluster.

More than 13,000 Tech companies in the Toronto region, from startups to global technology leaders, deliver hardware, software, and communications services to the North American and global financial services industry. A recent Deloitte report ranked Canada has the 4th largest cybersecurity hub in terms of deal flow with Ontario leading the country.

The Toronto region is the Canadian headquarters for some of the world’s leading wireless and telecom companies, including Cisco, Ericsson and Alcatel, and for world-leading software and data analytics companies such as HP, IBM and Microsoft.Together, these companies contribute to Ontario’s nation-leading ICT sector, which accounts for 65% of the sector’s R&D and 66% of its exports in Canada.

With 50% of the country’s approximate 60,000 Fintech employees, the Toronto region offers one of the most highly educated workforces in the developed world. While more than 80% of Toronto’s financial services workers have post-secondary degrees and accreditations, the city’s 61 technology related programs train more than 5,000 graduates a year.

Toronto’s talent pipeline is continually replenished by Ontario’s 44 colleges and universities that produce approximately 38,000 skilled graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics each year. They also offer more than 200 cooperative education programs in ICT fields, including the University of Waterloo’s program, the largest in the world, involving 19,000 students and 6,300 employers.

Fintech companies doing business in Toronto benefit from one of the lowest software development costs in the industrialized world. Running a software development centre in Toronto is much more affordable than in London and New York City which is one of the many reasons why the Canadian software industry has grown 23% from 2009 to 2014. Based on the combined costs of labour, utilities, telecommunications and property, the cost of operating a data centre is also more affordable in Toronto than other jurisdictions.

Toronto’s Fintech sector can also take advantage of a broadly based system of R&D tax credits from the federal and provincial governments. These can reduce the gross cost of C$100 in R&D to C$42 to C$54 depending on the size and type of company.

Global Risk Institute

Financial institutions, governments, policymakers and regulators are all seeking growth and stability in an uncertain world. The Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI) responds to the needs of the private and public sectors for better intelligence, information and training regarding risk in the financial services sector.

Founded by the public and private sectors in Canada and now expanding internationally, GRI’s mandate is to develop applied and integrative research in financial risk and enhance risk education for organizations around the world. Through its research and education programs, GRI builds integrated risk management capacity for private and public sector risk professionals and acts as a hub, stimulating evidence-based debate between regulators, practitioners and academics engaged in risk.

Cutting across industry sub-sectors and the different vantage points of the private sector, regulators, central banks and academia, GRI creates new approaches to risk. We also help our member organizations build innovative and practical strategies that better manage the balance between risk and opportunity in financial services.

To find out more about GRI’s work, visit: