Why is the financial world turning to Ontario?

The world of finance is changing. The global industry is being reshaped by an unprecedented wave of regulatory reform, consolidation and technological changes.

Investors are looking for a place with stable economic and political environments and a strong innovative ecosystem to support their businesses. They will find that and more in Ontario.

A concentrated market opportunity

Ontario’s financial services companies are concentrated in downtown Toronto, close to IT, professional and other services. That concentration will give you a critical strategic advantage.

Our financial services sector generates approximately $63 billion in GDP and employs about 365,000 people in some 12,000 financial services firms. In Toronto, Ontario, the centre of Canada’s financial services industry, your company will be at the heart of the action. Toronto is North America’s second largest financial services hub after New York City in terms of industry employment.

The city is Canada’s financial services capital and headquarters for:

  • Canada’s four largest banks, which are among the world’s 50 largest banks by market capitalization
  • more than half of the world’s top 10 banks by market capitalization
  • three of the top five largest Canadian insurers
  • two of the top 20 global pension funds
  • eight of the 10 largest Canadian asset managers
  • the second largest chartered financial analyst (CFA) society in the world
  • the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), which leads globally in the number of total new listings and total mining listings, and ranks ninth in the world by market capitalization

The concentration of financial services activity can give your business an advantage. You’ll easily be connected to leading financial institutions, funds, innovative IT and great talent.

44,000 business graduates a year

Our highly educated, skilled, multilingual and multicultural financial services workforce is 365,000 people strong and accounts for nearly half of Canada’s financial services employment. They have the creativity and energy to make your business prosper.

A steady supply of skilled, highly educated talent

  • We produce a steady supply of top talent from 44 universities and colleges, including 14 MBA programs at renowned institutions like Rotman, Schulich, Ivey and Queens.
  • We’re home to two of the top 10 international business schools.
  • Our 44 universities and colleges produce more than 44,000 business graduates a year.
  • Ontario’s colleges and universities offer close to 800 cooperative education programs in a variety of disciplines. University of Waterloo’s program is the largest in the world with over 120 programs, an annual enrolment of 19,000 students and participation of more than 6,300 employers.

Globally-recognized professionals

We are home to:

  • about 9,000 chartered financial analysts (CFAs)
  • around 88,000 chartered professional accountants (CPAs)
  • A destination of choice for global leaders
  • You’ll be in great company. We’re the destination of choice for global leaders like Bank of America, Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs Logos for Bank of America, Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs

Dynamic, diverse and welcoming

  • Your business will also benefit from our cultural and linguistic diversity. More than three million people fluently speak a language other than English or French.
  • International students in a two-year MBA can stay and work for three years post-graduation; and one more year if they are enrolled in a one-year program, with possible extension.

Cost savings of up to 28%

We offer competitive costs for your business operations. In Ontario, you’ll find potentially significant cost savings over many other international financial centres.

International results (US = 100.0)
Industry: Professional services
Operation: International financial services
Country Cost Index Rank
Canada 72.4 1
Netherlands 77.3 2
Australia 78.3 3
Italy 80.3 4
Germany 81.4 5
France 82.8 6
Japan 85.6 7
United Kingdom 86.7 8
United States 100.0 9
Source: KPMG Competitive Alternatives model 2016

One of the world’s soundest banking systems

Ontario’s stable economy can be largely attributed to its position at the heart of Canada’s highly advanced banking and financial systems.

Maximize profit and minimize risk in Ontario

  • Here, you can maximize profit and minimize risk in an environment of economic, political and regulatory stability. Our economy proved exceptionally resilient during the financial crisis.
  • We have advanced, transparent and internationally respected financial and regulatory systems, including effective intellectual property and privacy rules.
  • Ontario is also a hub of leading-edge risk management thinking, applied research, education and training through the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, a collaboration of regulators, risk experts, academics, policy makers and practitioners.

Recognized advantages

Global financial leaders have recognized the competitive advantages they can gain by relocating or expanding their operations here including access to major cities in the United States.

For example, in 2011, China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund, opened its first overseas office not in London, New York or Chicago, but in Toronto, Ontario.

Leading global financial services companies in Ontario

  • AIG Insurance
  • Allstate
  • American Express
  • Aviva
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Barclays
  • Bloomberg
  • BNY Mellon
  • Chase
  • China Construction Bank
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • ICICI Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • JP Morgan
  • Lloyds
  • MasterCard
  • Mitsubishi UFJ
  • Mizuho
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Primerica
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Société Générale
  • Standard & Poor’s
  • Standard Chartered
  • Standard Life
  • State Bank of India
  • State Farm
  • State Street
  • Sumitomo Mitsui
  • TD Bank
  • UBS
  • US Bancorp
  • Wells Fargo
  • Zurich Financial Services
Where financial services make a statement

Where financial services make a statement

Ontario is home to a vibrant, diverse and educated workforce that is driving tangible opportunities for growth in the global financial services sphere. Learn more about Ontario's financial services sector in this downloadable guide.