Monday, April 8, 2013

Royal Bank of Canada - exporter of jobs

CEO Gordon Nixon, 12.6 million dollar man
The Royal Bank of Canada (aka RBC) is responding to public complaints that spread rapidly following reports the bank will be terminating Canadian staff who are training temporary foreign workers to take over their jobs. This is like the condemned being forced to clean and load weapons for their firing squad.

The bank's response is as believable as Premier Christy Clark's claim that 400 million people witnessed the Times of India film awards that cost BC taxpayers $11 million this week. About 30,000 people saw the pre-election show at BC Place but we don't know where the other 399,970,000 viewers were since the show was not broadcast. The Times of India, an English language publication, did not mention British Columbia in its Sunday online report.

However, I digress. Back to the RBC, which should be stung by thousands of customers fleeing from their greedy clutches, beginning first thing Monday morning.

The bank's response begins like this,
"RBC wants to address media reports and provide clarification. Contrary to allegations, RBC has not hired temporary foreign workers to take over the job functions of current RBC employees."
No, what they did was hire a company who hired temporary foreign workers to take over the job functions of current RBC employees. However, being honest about that would admit that critics and complainers have been correct.

When the last Canadian employee is sent packing, perhaps the exodus will include CEO Gordon Nixon. If he spent his wages in India, he could find a little place where he would not be bothered by RBC employees. A modest little home like the one that houses the Maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur:

While RBC and the other Big Six of Canadian banking pay zero allegiance to their non-executive employees, Vancity, Canada's largest credit union, is a Living Wage Employer. The organization provides its lowest paid people about twice British Columbia's minimum wage of $10.25 per hour.

All of Vancity's service providers do the same, having agreed to recognize the social and economic benefits of paying a living wage. Low wages have contributed to BC having the highest child poverty rate in Canada and 25% of couples with children in Greater Vancouver live below the Living Wage level.

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  1. Well we're not exactly 'fleeing' the RBC, but starting today we are switching one our accounts over to Vancity. Its a start - and if every customer does just one thing - RBC will get the picture.

  2. This RBC incident is not an isolated event. I remember Telus started exporting jobs big time around 2006. This is a North American trend. This issue has been addressed by Paul Craig Roberts. He was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under Reagan and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He is a true insider that lets you know what has truly been going on. He's lucky to still be alive. He has done extensive writings on the subject. I don't know the policy about posting links here so just do a google search and find his website. One of his solution's is to base the corporate tax rate on the number of employees they have outsourced. Just don't expect that to happen anytime soon - we know who the politicians really serve.

    1. Dr Paul Craig Roberts truly is a remarkable person - I've been following and conversing with him for quite some time. Chossudovsky also provides much information on the subject of western decline. Both contribute to Global One thing Roberts told me to think about - "why is Washington purchasing, with money, our leaders in Canada?"

  3. I e-mailed everyone I know, to get their money out of RBC. I moved my accounts from my own bank. Banks are also one of Harper's corporation charities. Harper's Omnibull-S-Bill gives permission to all company's to hire cheap foreign labor. So. I am not leaving my money in any bank.

    Especially in BC we know what a snake in the grass, Harper really is. BC has been victimized by, that lying thieving pair of of Harper and henchman Campbell, far too many times. Campbell gave BC to China, a long time back. CSIS warned us about Campbell who, still works for Harper.


  5. As reported on CBC radio this morning, this is not exclusive to RBC. ALL THE MAJOR BANKS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE INTO THIS SCAM! Just watched Burnaby council put the boot in to the Feds and the banks. Lets be honest here: this program is operating exactly as designed. The reason the banks have joined in is because they can and the Feds are a party to this B.S. Time for unions to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Pull your pension funds and get with the ethical financial institutions. You know who they are!

  6. Norman,

    About 1986 Vancouver's RBC main branch lost their "signature cards": a quickly verified proof of customer identity. A simple problem, easily resolved. Just fess up and tell customers to resubmit signatures.

    Instead, one day a teller - who knew me - demanded proof of who I was.

    I'd never been asked before - worked 1 block away at head office of a different bank - so the insult was not welcomed. But it wasn't the last straw. The teller's supervisor provided that by boldly stating that, should I refuse to conform to RBC's DEMAND, I wouldn't get 1 cent and... could be ARRESTED.

    Off to the manager's office for a "WTF ARE YOU DOING!" session.

    After a short time yelling, only then did the truth emerge - RBC hired a third party company to review signature cards: and they LOST them.

    That led to the nub of the problem for someone also in banking - when were bank patrons to be informed of this fact? Weren't financial institutions obliged to tell customers when gross errors had been committed? The manager just stammered...

    In the weeks following, as I drained my account, I was sent a flood of Very Special Offers!

    Next, for a few years, I banked with Van City. They weren't as egregiously duplicitous, but inept enough that I pulled out and went to Coast Capital.

    As much as I'd like extract all my money from RBC, boycott them, tell management to resettle in Purgatory and expel their most psychopathically greed-addicted senior-level wankers: it's too late.

    And you sir? The Province is now quoting you, by not really quoting you, nor, of course, providing a link to you.

    "One blogger urged offended customers to transfer their business to other institutions. Some commenting on blogger Norm Farrell’s post said they planned to cancel their accounts."

    Meanwhile, it appears the Sun and Times Colonist have refrained from dirtying their mittens on this story.

    A dutiful CBC reports a management non mea culpa, "Our expectation is that all of our contractors comply with the rules and regulations of the country." Hmmm.

    Is RBC's management "expectation" really comforting given the gravity of their finding it convenient to fire seniors prior to retirement? A CBC article lists several employees who claimed that they were forced to train the workers who replaced them.

    Beyond that? I can't imagine the morale of RBC people, at all levels, forced to work for these self-serving numbskulls. It's one thing for any financial institution to bask in the Too Big To Fail myth, it's another to belong to the too-stupid-to-be-human category.

    I expect that to protect the public (and bank employees) breaking up the banks is long overdue.

  7. Vancouver Sun article today:

    "RBC has maintained it had not hired temporary foreign workers to take over the duties of current employees, but it also said it was delegating certain services to an external company that brought in its own employees for training at the bank's offices in Canada."

    1. Which confirms what I wrote:

      "No, what they did was hire a company who hired temporary foreign workers to take over the job functions of current RBC employees. However, being honest about that would admit that critics and complainers have been correct."

  8. It's intersting how it takes a 'scandal' like this to make us think about our financial instituion. We sometimes forget, while we're all hunting for the best interest rates, that our investments are not always ethical. How many people know what companies they are investing in with their mutual funds? Are they companies that share the same values that you do? Social Responsibility. It's in everyones best interst.

  9. More on this issue:

  10. ""RBC has maintained it had not hired temporary foreign workers to take over the duties of current employees, but it also said it was delegating certain services to an external company that brought in its own employees for training at the bank's offices in Canada."

    This is as fatuous as hiring a hit man to kill somebody for you, and thinking you aren't guilty of murder, plus conspiracy to commit murder....what a joke! Of course considering the declining and corrupt state of the Canadian justice system, especially in B.C., perhaps only the trigger man is culpable.

    Campbull said he wouldn't sell B.C. Rail, and I guess he wasn't lying after all, it is more like he gave it away to his bud MacLean and don't forget Christy Clark, John Les, Kash Heed and anyone else in the LIEberal caucus accused of ANYTHING questionable turns out to be pure as the driven snow, that is what "oh so special" prosecutors are for, after all!

  11. I suggest a contest to rebrand RBC to a more appropriate Who-Needs-Canada? label.

    To begin the process I nominate "BHC" that being, "Black Hole Of Canada".

    Customer and corporate money gets sucked in - enabling what? More Canadian jobs disappear into a government-ignored\government denied, worm hole. Nothing comes back to the benefit of Canada.

    In countries nowhere near Canada, Canada's jobs appear. In various 'who-needs-taxes?' sectors of the political universe, huge BHC profits appear.

    No matter what happens to Canada or Canadians bank profits keep going up... That doesn't suggest this sector is particularly brilliant: but instead, particularly parasitic.

  12. Just when I thought that credit unions were a better bet...

    "Member's Special Resolution - 2013"

    “From March 22 to April 16, 2013, members are being asked to vote on a special resolution brought forward by a member regarding director compensation. The Board does not endorse this resolution.”


    Well now. Before voting let's see some online details. What does Coast Capital say the resolution is?

    It doesn't. Because? “The Board does not endorse this resolution.”

    What does the Resolution actually say that is so objectionable?

    “Be it resolved that, the members of Coast Capital Savings Credit Union establish the remuneration for the Directors of the credit union and that the amount paid to each Director is published in the Annual Report.”

    Ah! I see. A modest request for actual credit union Democracy, and board accountability to shareholders. What could be more normal, in a credit UNION?

    Meaning - a Co-Op.

    “The Board of Directors changed the rules in 2007 to allow themselves to vote themselves pay raises of 500% in 5 years so far, and allowed them to decide which members would be allowed to run for election to the board. Since then, the Chairman of the Board and other directors have not had to face the voters as other candidates encouraged to drop out, leaving them to win by acclamation.”

    “Three Directors Avoid Facing the Voters for Nine Years”

    “One Director Has Never Faced Voters”

    The member protesting wrote: “Vancity's Board Remuneration in 2011 - $366,382. Coast Capital (smaller than Vancity) paid $750,517, almost 100% more!”

    Impressive... Or what?

    1. Congratulations for observing closely and raising the issues publicly. Credit unions are like every group; they need transparency and effective accountability. Whenever the Directors take action, every element that underlies decision making should be available to members. When business is done behind closed doors, inappropriate activity results.

      Human nature almost guarantees that people allowed to manage valuable assets will eventually do that for their own benefit, if no mechanism for effective oversight is in place. It is the same in every activity, public or private. Control and audit systems must be completely impersonal yet these are the systems that are first perverted by dishonest insiders.

      Your actions must follow what Arlo Guthrie sang about in the song from Alice's Restaurant. Any worthwhile message begins with a whisper and builds to a shout:

      "And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
      singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
      organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
      fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
      walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement."

    2. About those heroic corporate auditors? Worked in banking many moons ago. In conversation with a colleague, he outlined why so many auditing scandals kept popping up.

      It went like this.

      "You're the auditor. Your list of accounts constitutes your employer's bast cash cows. Assume one of your accounts - a high end financial institution - cooks the books and you find out? Being the right sort of bloke off you dash to the banks' top brass to give them the bad news.

      Then? They give you the bad news.

      a/ You're fired. Pack up. Get out.
      b/ Goodbye bonuses.
      c/ Tell your employers how much billing-money you've lost over ten years, and
      d/ They'll fire you too.
      e/ Now, all the bank has to do is hire auditors, more, um, sensitive to those cleverly unwritten rules which really apply.
      f/ Don't expect government to back you up.

      Concerning your Canadian bank account and whether it's your money or merely "a loan" to the bank? There's a surprisingly informative article at

    3. I cannot argue with that, as a former auditor. When I was a young naive accountant, I was part of an audit team at the BC Lions Society for Crippled Children and the Kinsmen Rehab Foundation. It was not acceptable for young auditors to raise issues about inappropriate actions of the senior officers of the charities. That led to serious fraud by senior insiders.

      This experience led to my life long scepticism about charitable organizations. The experience hss been reinforced numerous times since then.

  13. I am very pleased to have read this....I am a brand new member of Coast Capital after leaving CIBC and was not aware. I seem to be saying "not aware" a lot recently. I will stop by tonite and pick up a ballot form....I'm no Arlo Guthrie so will just hum the tune while doing so.

  14. RBC is hiring from overseas..... Manulife is buying overseas ... in expectation of a forthcoming crackdown by the Federal Opposition on Harper accepting foreigners, working for 15% less than Canadians... the bottom line for Corporations looks rosy.

    Canada's largest insurer, Manulife, will buy ($580 million) the 21-story building tower, scheduled for completion in 2015, for its headquarters in a city, Hong Kong, which has the .......

    1. Tim Hortons and other fast food places are also displacing Canadians by importing Temporary Foreign Workers. Partly because of that, I buy my coffees from a family run operation that hires people from the community.

      All of us are consumers and we should ask if the places we patronize are importing TFWs. Don't spend at businesses that do. Mostly, that means avoiding the large multinationals and franchise operations.

      Norm, you should publish a list of local businesses that pay fair wages and do not use temporary foreign workers. I'm switching my accounts to a credit union and I'm done with big Canadian banks. Now, I want to know if Telus and other phone operators are also using TFWs and overseas call centres.

  15. Norman!

    Have to wonder how RBC's Nixon can survive the complete unraveling of his we-would-never-do-that spin and the subsequent bleeding away of customer confidence.

    Former imported employees are claiming the exact opposite of what Nixon claims.

    “The iGATE workers’ stories support what dozens of bank employees and contractors have told Go Public, that foreign contractors from India are now cycling through all the major banks, for months or years at a time, displacing more and more IT staffers and local contractors. “
    . . . .
    "There are legions of Canadians qualified, willing and available for work if they knew the jobs existed. There’s something that needs to be dramatically overhauled here nationally," said Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer from Vancouver.”

    “He and two colleagues are now preparing to launch a class-action lawsuit on behalf of affected Canadian bank workers.”
    . . . .

    ““It's India operating on different soil. It’s not Canada,” said a former senior bank executive, who is now a consultant. “The banks are losing control of their business.””

    “Dozens of bank insiders said the outsourcing companies getting the big contracts are Tata Consultancy Services, iGATE, IBM Global and Mahindra Satyam.”

    ““It’s the elephant in the room that’s finally being talked about,” he said, adding he was upset to learn RBC paid iGATE more than $100 million in 2012, according to U.S. securities filings.”
    . . . .

    So... Did Nixon authorize the expenditure of $100 million only to see the project blow up into a huge scandal? If he now claims, 'well OK, actually everybody is doing it..' – it shifts the crosshairs not only on to all Canadian banks, but also to the federal government's whatever-you-guys-want job-displacement policy. It throws a worse light on our-corporate-backers-don't-need-to-hire-Canadians policy.

    Already the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership is suspect for what it will do to eliminate Canadian jobs, by voluntarily undermining Canada's right to hire its own people. I don't see any way the feds can ever justify on a larger scale what Canadians find outrageous on the banking scale..

    Come the RBC AGM I wouldn't want to be Nixon. Come the arrival of the TTP debate I wouldn't want to be anyone seen supporting the TTP.

  16. B.C. union pensions threaten to move $1 billion of funds from RBC over outsourcing plans

    “(Pension funds) tend to have a hands-off policy for these kinds of political issues, where they say ‘We’re going to invest based on the business merit and not on a political basis,’ ” Milligan said. “The reason is, everyone has their own political views and if you start crossing companies off the list because someone doesn’t like a particular firm, pretty soon you’re left with a pretty small set of investment options.”

    And that last sentence essentially says it all doesn't it? Just keep your eyes closed folks and keep thinking about your financial's somebody else's problem, isn't it!

    Too bad Dickens wasn't alive today, he could slide that comment into a brand new novel.

  17. Dickens, you say? Yep. From Bleak House we morph to Bleak Future? Dickens would have perfectly understood the mindset behind our regression into another Dark Age.

    However. One of the exceptional aspects of capitalism is that when the political game too blatantly corrupts the economic game - consumers can make a very nasty choice.

    'OK boys, we get it. You're liars, card cheats, thieves, swindlers. But what happens if I and my neighbours extract, say, a billion from your card game? What if that soon becomes BILLIONS? You're screwed.'

    BC Union Pension Funds needs to do more than 'threaten' withdrawal. Advantage only switches sides when the action is completed.

    Suggestion: Move pension money to credit unions. Or just create one huge national credit co-op from union funds and use it to reinvest in the country..

    Put into the co-op's constitution a nice poison pill: that at no future time may the co-op be taken over or sold to any other financial entity without 80% shareholder consent.

    Simple: don't negotiate with people you know you can't trust, exclude them! That's the better deal, for everybody.

  18. This is ridiculous. Shouldn’t it be some other way? I mean Canadians getting more and more vacancies. Even though the unemployment rate in our country is not that scary, still we definitely do not want to increase a number of people without jobs. I have just read the post about Canada being the 6th largest economy, so now with this terrible job loss situation they want us to be 7th, 8th or even 20th?! With losing their jobs, people will certainly need some money to borrow from trustworthy company, how will they do this?!



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