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Press Release



RALEIGH, N.C. – Feb. 5, 2009 – The economy’s deep freeze may mean a slower season of Canadian tourist migration to the Southeastern U.S. this winter compared to last. But RBC Bank sees its cross-border business as a hot spot worth investing in.

“More than 2.7 million Canadians visit the Southeastern United Sates each year and more than 400,000 Canadians—often called snowbirds—spend a few weeks to six months here to escape the Canadian winter,” said RBC Bank’s Alain Forget, vice president of Strategy and Development for Cross Border Banking. “Our clients benefit from the relationship between Royal Bank of Canada—RBC Bank’s parent company—and RBC Bank that provides banking solutions that more easily account for their cross-border lifestyle.”

Raleigh-based RBC Bank has an edge over other U.S. banks because its cross border program, known as RBC Access USA, offers Canadian clients vacationing or living in the U.S. shared banking services with their Royal Bank of Canada accounts. The program allows clients to use their Canadian credit history to apply for a mortgage or credit card in the U.S. Funds can be transferred instantly between their personal Savings, Checking and Money Market accounts with RBC Bank and their Savings and Checking accounts with Royal Bank of Canada. That’s something that banks without a Canadian connection can’t offer.

Five years ago Forget launched the bank’s cross-border strategy with a focus on Florida and the Carolinas’ coasts. But to accommodate the more than 60,000 Canadian clients enrolled in the RBC Access USA program who flock south and are also RBC Bank clients, Forget has expanded his team to include two new positions – Priscilla Awkard and Fredric Potvin, managers for Cross Border Banking for the Carolinas and Florida, respectively.

RBC Bank also appeals to Canadian snowbirds who aren’t Royal Bank of Canada clients at home.

“RBC is a household name in Canada,” said Forget. “So even if snowbirds bank with a competitor, they know our brand, and they know we will understand their banking needs better than a bank without cross-border expertise. We have specialized bankers who understand Canadians and want to make their banking experience here in the States as seamless as possible.”

Not only does the bank support its Canadian clients through shared banking services, it also hosts a number of events for networking and understanding financial nuances in the U.S. RBC Bank will host the Canada vs. USA Friendly Competition for the RBC Cup Feb. 19 in Tamarac, Fla.; Feb. 26 in Naples, Fla.; and March 19 during CanAm week in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Please contact Carole Lavigne at (561) 443-5451 for more information on these events as well as the more than 50 other cross-border events planned for February and March 2009.


- Alain Forget, vice president of Strategy and Development for Cross Border Banking
- Priscilla Awkard, manager of Cross Border Banking of North and South Carolina
- Fredric Potvin, manager of Cross Border Banking of Florida

About RBC Bank
RBC Bank, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., offers a wide range of financial services and advice to individuals, businesses and public institutions throughout the Southeast. RBC Bank’s network includes more than 430 full-service banking centers, an extensive ATM network and telephone and online banking. RBC Bank is the 40th largest U.S. bank by consolidated assets, according to the Federal Reserve Statistical Release June 30, 2008. RBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (RY on the TSX and NYSE), Canada's largest and most stable bank as measured by assets and market capitalization. Global Finance Magazine named RBC the best bank in Canada in October 2008, and the safest bank in Canada for 10 consecutive years, from 1999-2008. RBC is also one of the world’s financial, social and environmental corporate leaders for the past eight years as on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Additional information about RBC Bank may be found at
For more information:
Dorsey Landis
RBC Bank/(919) 788-6272