June 17, 2016 / 3:03 PM / in a year

RBC eyes more U.S. expansion after City National deal

A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) sign is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie - RTX2EC7Q

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) plans further expansion in the United States following its $5 billion acquisition of Los Angeles-based City National in November, Chief Executive Dave McKay said on Friday.

McKay said acquiring City National gave the bank an “enormous opportunity” to grow in the U.S. and it could look at further acquisitions to supplement organic growth.

“We would consider strategic options to make small acquisitions that could help accelerate growth in the United States and provide a good payback to shareholders in a reasonable period of time,” he said.

RBC sees the United States as a key growth market, offering opportunities to expand its wealth management and capital markets businesses at a faster rate than in Canada, where it already has a dominant position.

“We have invested in the California economy, which is the size of the Canadian economy, so there’s enormous opportunity to grow here and clearly organic opportunity to expand into other cities using RBC’s wealth management and capital markets strength to take City National there,” he said.

The purchase of City National, known as Los Angeles’ “bank to the stars” because of its ties to the movie industry and celebrities, gave RBC an opportunity to access high net-worth clients in the United States.

RBC Chief Financial Officer Janice Fukakusa told investors on a conference call on Friday that the bank expects City National to more than double its pre-tax profit to over $1 billion by 2020, and said total integration costs from the merger are expected to be between $130 million and $150 million, 25 percent to 30 percent less than originally anticipated.

The deal enables RBC to provide investment banking services to City National’s commercial, private banking and entrepreneurial customers and City National to offer wealth management services to RBC clients.

“We see many opportunities to drive revenue growth including cross-selling City National’s products to RBC’s clients and vice versa,” Fukakusa said.

City National’s Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith said in an interview that the bank had avoided having to shed key customer-facing staff through the merger, allowing it to focus instead on continuing to drive revenue growth.

“Everything we’ve seen has been very encouraging as to the ability of RBC in the United States working with City National to grow. We’re seeing a lot of opportunities. Their capital markets business is very strong in media, entertainment, healthcare, technology; all areas where we’re working,” he said.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Alan Crosby

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