WRAPUP-Canada banks top expectations despite lending crunch

Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:20pm EST
 
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* Loan quality, business lending drive profits

* Profit gains overshadow consumer lending slowdown

* Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion boost dividends

* CIBC holds payout steady, sending its shares lower

* RBC shares rise, TD little changed

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Three of Canada's top banks posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profits on Thursday as they relied on lower loan-loss provisions, cost-cutting, and stronger international revenue to offset slower growth in domestic consumer lending.

Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank , the country's two largest banks, both raised their quarterly dividend. No. 5 lender Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce left its payout unchanged, prompting investors to pull its shares lower.   Continued...