Canada Bank Earnings: What They Can Buy You In The Real World

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CANADA BANK EARNINGS 2012
The Big Five Canadian banks posted a whopping $7.5 billion in total earnings in the third quarter of 2012. (Alamy photo) | Alamy

Boy did the analysts get it wrong this time.

After predictions rolled in that Canada’s Big Five banks would see their earnings come under pressure due to a slowdown in consumer spending, the banks came out this week with soaring earnings.

The big banks’ total profit for the three-month period ending July 31 was an almost even $7.5 billion. That’s for three months, not a whole year.

RBC led the way, recording an all-time record profit of $2.24 billion, followed by Scotiabank at $2.05 billion, TD Bank ($1.7 billion), BMO ($970 million) and CIBC ($841 million).

To be fair, the analysts may yet prove to be right if the downward pressure from consumers continues. Canada saw a significant drop in retail sales in the most recent StatsCan report. And this week’s disappointing earnings report from fashion retailer Reitmans highlight just how separated the banks’ situation is right now from Canadian consumers.

But in the meantime, here’s an idea of just how much money the Big Five banks are raking in right now. (Text version below slideshow.)

WHAT THE BIG FIVE BANKS’ PROFIT COULD BUY YOU IN THE REAL WORLD

What Canadian Banks' Profits Can Buy In The Real World
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Tuition for 1,397,689 undergrads
The average undergraduate tuition in Canada today stands at $5,366.

5 billion fees for using another bank's machine
Banks can charge up to $2 or even $2.50 for non-customers using their machines, but we've used the more common $1.50 charge for this calculation.

1.36 billion fresh whole chickens
The going retail rate for a whole chicken in Canadian supermarkets was $5.52 in June of 2012.

2.5 billion rides on Toronto's streetcar
The cash fare rate on the TTC is $3.

1,978,891,820 poutines at Harvey's
Assuming a retail price of $3.79 each.

1.25 million 1978 Darth Vader figurines
They go for about $6,000 each these days.

The average annual salary of 163,043 Canadians
The average salary in Canada is around $46,000.

4.54 billion medium-sized double-doubles at Timmies
Assuming a pre-tax price of $1.65 per cup.

7,500 performances by Sting at your birthday party
It's estimated the singer charges $1 million per performance.

468,896 Honda Civics
The basic model at the suggested retail price of $15,995.

48 trips to the moon
British company Excalibur Almaz is selling tickets for trips to the moon at a cool $155 million.

The entire economy of the Bahamas
The Bahamas produced $7.7 billion in wealth in 2011, slightly more than Canadian banks' $7.5 billion in profits in a three-month period.

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