Flaherty Says Canadian Banks Have Capital for Acquisitions

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the country’s lenders have enough capital for acquisitions.

Asked about the possibility of a Canadian lender buying an Irish bank, Flaherty said “some Canadian banks have made acquisitions in Asia and the U.S.” adding “there is no reason why they can’t make investments elsewhere so long as they maintain adequate capital.”

Flaherty said Canada supervises its banks “quite closely, including their capital requirements.” He said that new international rules -- the so-called Basel III regulations -- have increased both the “quality and quantity of the capital” lenders are required to hold.

Flaherty made the comments to reporters in Galway, Ireland, following a presentation at a conference today.

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