Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has approved Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) $13.5 billion takeover of HSBC Canada, despite calls from opposition politicians and other groups to block it.
The approval of Mme Freeland was the final obstacle to the deal, after the Competition Bureau approved it in September.
The minister’s approval comes with conditions imposed on RBC, including that HSBC Canada’s Canadian workforce be protected and that banking services continue to be provided in at least 33 HSBC Canada branches for four years.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had called for the deal to be blocked, saying the Canadian banking sector is too concentrated and the loss of HSBC Canada will only make the situation worse.
The House of Commons Finance Committee has also expressed concerns that it will harm competition.
RBC CEO Dave McKay said rejecting the deal would have sent a bad signal to foreign investors.
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