Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

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CIBC Template:Tsx Template:NYSE is one of Canada's major banks. Its legal name is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, though it uses the CIBC acronym in most public dealings. CIBC (as well as Amicus Bank and President's Choice Financial) is classified as a Domestic Chartered Bank (Schedule I). With its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, it also operates in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia and the United Kingdom. It is currently Canada's fourth largest chartered bank.



CIBC has three main operational divisions:

Within the divisions are functional divisions:

  • Treasury, Balance Sheet and Risk Management
  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Technology and Operations
  • Corporate Development

Units in CIBC included:

  • Amicus Bank
  • President's Choice Financial

Former Divisions of CIBC:

  • Canadian Eastern Finance
  • CIBC Trust Corporation - now under CIBC Wealth Management
  • CIBC Mortgage Corporation - now FirstLine Mortgages
  • CIBC Insurance - spun off as The Personal

Operational Facts

  • Total Employees (worldwide): 37,000
  • Total Branches (Canada): 1,100
  • Total ABM (Canada): 4,400
  • Total Assets (2003): $277.1 billion
  • Total Capitalization (2003): $21.4 billion


In 1867 the Canadian Bank of Commerce opened in Toronto with a charter in 1866 (purchased from the defunct Bank of Canada, which folded in 1858. Imperial Bank of Canada opened a few years later in 1875, also in Toronto. In 1961 the two banks merged to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and in 1962, opened a major new banking centre in Montreal, Quebec with the construction of the CIBC building.

CIBC was the first Canadian bank to introduce bank machines, with the Automated Cash Dispenser (aka Robot tellers) in 1969. In 1988 CIBC moved into the investment market by purchasing Wood Gundy Inc. In 1997 it moved to do the same in the United States by purchasing Oppenheimer & Co., Incorporated.

Besides its Canadian operations, CIBC has operations globally. CIBC National Bank was established in the U.S. in 1999, but opened an foreign exchange office in New York in 1875 (Canadian Bank of Commerce), London in 1901 and in Asia (Hong Kong) in 1970.

Along with Loblaws, CIBC helps operate President's Choice Financial started in 1996.

CIBC is currently one of Canada's chartered banks, also referred to as the Big Six banks.


Headquarter and Operations

Commerce Court is CIBC's world and Canadian headquarters and was designed by renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei in 1973.

750 Lawrence Avenue West (Twin Towers) in Downsview, Ontario contains additional head office operations in Canada. The building was built by Toronto-based firm B+H Architects in 1981 (the same firm was involved in renovations in 2001. For a few years the bank also had space at 700 Lawrence (Lawrence Square) and a 970 Lawrence, but most of these operations have been relocated to their 750 Lawrence site.

Within the Greater Toronto Area, CIBC has additional operations:

  • 901 King Street West
  • computer centres in Streetsville and Markham
  • data storage facilities in Scarborough
  • call centre in the city of Hamilton (alternate site to Toronto)
  • 20 Dundas Street West (Atrium on Bay)

La Tour CIBC is the bank's operations in Montreal. It was built in 1962 by architect Peter Dickinson and Ross, Fish, Duschenes & Barrett.

CIBC Building in Hamilton, Ontario is responsible of commercial banking operations outside of Toronto. The building was built in 1987-90 by Pellow & Associates Architect Inc on the original site of the Bank of Commerce building (1897-1907).

Telephone banking call centres are located in Toronto, Halifax, Hamilton.


Bank Executives

  • John S. Hunkin - Chief Executive Officer; former CEO and President of CIBC World Markets 1990-1992, President of Investment and Corporate Banking - CIBC Wood Gundy 1992-1997, President of Investment and Corporate Banking - CIBC World Markets 1997-1999
  • Gerald T. McCaughey - President; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - CIBC World Markets and Vice Chair, Wealth Management, CIBC
  • Brian Shaw - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - CIBC World Markets and Vice Chair, Wealth Management, CIBC
  • Steven McGirr - President, CIBC World Markets
  • Sonia Baxendale - Vice Chair, Retail Markets, CIBC
  • Victor Dodig - EVP Wealth Management, CIBC
  • Wayne C. Fox - Vice Chair and Chief Risk Officer (CRO) Treasury, Balance Sheet and Risk Management, CIBC
  • Ron Lalonde - Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Administrative Officer, CIBC
  • Michael D. Woeller - Vice Chair and Chief Information Officer, CIBC
  • Richard E. Venn - Senior Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development, CIBC, Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, CIBC World Markets Inc.
  • Tom Woods - Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, CIBC
  • Lachlan MacLachlan - Senior Vice-President and Ombudsman, CIBC

Stock Ticker Symbol

CIBC trades in Toronto's TSX as CM.TO and in New York Stock Exchange as BCM.




Canadian Bank of Commerce

Halifax Banking Company - 1903 Established in 1825 by Enos Collins with Hon. Henry H Cogswell as President from 1825-1834:

  • Robie Uniacke - President 1882-1903
  • Horatio Newelham Wallace - Cashier 1892-1903

Gore Bank Formed in 1836 and merged with the Commerce in 1870:

  • Colonel James W Wythe - President 1836-1839
  • Colin C Ferrie - President 1839-1856
  • Andrew Steven - President 1856-1861; Cashier 1836-1856
  • Thomas Clark Street - President 1862-1868; later Bank of Commerce Director

Eastern Townships Bank Formed in 1859 and merged with the Commerce in 1912:

  • Colonel Benjamin Pomroy - President 1859-1874
  • Richard W Heneker - President 1874-1902
  • William Farnell - President 1902-1912
  • James MacKinnon - Cashier 1902-1912

Bank of British Columbia Established with a Royal Charter in 1862 and merged with the Commerce in 1901:

  • Thomas W.L. Mackean - Chairman 1862-1876
  • Sir Robert Gillespie - Chairman 1876-1901
  • Eden Colville - Director 1876-1893
  • James Anderson - 1862-1897, Manager 1862, General Manager 1867-1875, Director 1876-1890

Merchants Bank of Prince Edward Island Formed 1856 and merged with the Commerce in 1906:

  • W.A. Weekes 1864-1865
  • Robert Longsworth 1871-1882
  • Right Hon. Sir Louis Davies 1887-1897
  • Benjamin Heartz 1897-1904
  • W.A. Weekes 1904-1906

Bank of Hamilton

Merged with the Commerce in 1924

The Standard Bank of Canada (changed to St Lawrence Bank 1872-1876) in 1876) Merged with the Commerce in 1928


Imperial Bank of Canada

  • Niagara District Bank 1875
  • Weyburn Security Bank 1931
  • Barclays Bank (Canada) 1956

CIBC 1961

  • Canadian Bank of Commerce 1867-1961
  • Imperial Bank of Canada 1875-1961
  • Wood Gundy Incorporated 1988 - forming CIBC Wood Gundy and renamed CIBC World Markets
  • TAL Private Management 1994 - formerly Timmins and Associates Ltd, merged with CIBC Investment Management Corporation in 1994, named changed to TAL Global Asset Management Inc in 1998 and finally full acquired by CIBC in 2001.
  • Penfund 1998 - acquired mezzanine financing and investment firm founded in 1979


There was an attempt by CIBC to merger with then TD Bank (now TD Canada Trust) in the late 1990s. However, the Government of Canada at the lead of then Finance Minister Paul Martin blocked the merger from occurring.


Joint Ventures

  • CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services - formed by CIBC and Mellon Bank Corp of Pittsburgh PA 1996 and Canada Trust's (now TD Canada Trust) pension and custody business in 1997.
  • Canadian Eastern Finance Limited (CEF)- formed by CIBC and Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong; includes CEF Capital Limited, CEF Investment Management Limited
  • Amicus FSB - A similar setup as President's Choice Financial, it was created in 1999 in the United States with Winn Dixie and Safeway Stores under the Marketplace Bank and Safeway Select Bank brands, but it has since been disbanded in 2002 and sold to E*Trade Bank.
  • President's Choice Financial - A retail banking service operated by Amicus Bank, a subsidiary of CIBC, on behalf of Loblaw Companies Limited. Certain services, including credit cards, are issued / provided by a subsidiary of Loblaw, President's Choice Bank.
  • Soltrus Inc 2001 - provider of digital trust services for businesses and consumers to communicate and transact over digital networks owned by CIBC, Telus Corp and VeriSign Inc.
  • Aplettix Inc 2000 - firm specializing in secure transaction systems in the banking sector. CIBC signed an agreement with the New York based firm in 2000, but the project was later abandoned for alternatives such as VeriSign.

Sell Off/Restructuring/Outsourcing

  • EDULINX Canada Corporation: Established in 1999, it was sold to Nelnet Canada Inc, the Canadian unit of Nelnet Inc of the U.S., in late 2004.
  • FirstCaribbean International Bank: Formed by CIBC with Barclays Bank and replaces CIBC West Indies Holdings Limited operations.
  • HP Intria Items (Intria Corp): Formed by CIBC with Hewlett Packard and Fiserv Canada in 1996.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club: Founding owners of the MLB team in 1977 and had a 10% stake with majority owner Labatt's Breweries (later acquired by InterBrew NV) and sold to Rogers Media in 2000.
  • TSYS In 2002 a 10 year agreement was signed with Total Systems Services Inc of Columbus GA to outsource credit card processing operations.
  • CIBC Leadership Centre: In 2001, the King City facility was sold to Benchmark Hospitality as the bank began to divest real estate or investment in areas outside of its business strategies.
  • Juniper Financial Corporation: The bank acquired the Wilmington DE credit card issuer 2001 and sold to Barclays Bank in 2004.

Past Presidents/CEO/Chairman

Canadian Bank of Commerce


  • Hon. William McMaster 1867-1886 - founder of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Liberal Senator 1867-1887 and founder of McMaster University, former Bank of Montreal director 1864-1867
  • Sir John Aird 1924-1929 - Chairman of the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting
  • Sir Byron Edmund Walker 1907-1924
  • James Stewart CBE
  • William M. Currie
  • Neil McKinnon - President 1956-1961

Imperial Bank of Canada


  • Henry Stark Howland 1875-1889 - founder and former Bank of Commerce VP 1867-1875; former reeve and postmaster for the Village of Kleinburg 1859-1860, York County Warden
  • George Albertus Cox 1890-1896 - Liberal Senator 1896-1914


  • Lindsay Stuart Mackersy MC 1961-? - First President of CIBC

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce


  • Lindsay Stuart Mackersy MC 1961-? - Former Chairman of Imperial Bank of Canada


  • Russell Harrison
  • Neil MacKinnon
  • Donald S Fullerton
  • A.L. Flood CM - 1988-1998
  • John Hunkin - 1999-2003
  • Bill Etherington - 2003-present

CIBC and the Great Wars

During World War I and II, staff from the Canadian Bank of Commerce enlisted in the war effort:

Staff enlistment for:

  • World War I - 1701
  • World War II - 2300

A War Memorial at Commerce Court commemorates their sacrifice.


Who's Who

A list of famous and not so famous staff from the past:


Name Usage

Besides the name CIBC, the bank is known by various (official and unofficial) names:

  • Bank of Commerce
  • CIBC
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • La Banque Canadienne de Commerce


CIBC is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks. It is also a member of:



CIBC participates in a number of local events across Canada and globally. One of their better known promotional programs is the CIBC Run for Cure which raises money for cancer research.

Li Ka Shing, Hong Kong billionaire was the largest foreign shareholder in the bank for over two decades, but sold his portion (est. C$1.2 Billion) to establish a Canadian charity, the Li Ka Shing Foundation. CIBC was Mr. Li's choice for financing many of his Canadian ventures, like Husky Energy.



  • A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce by Victor Ross (1920-1934)

External links

  • CIBC Official Website - English
  • CIBC Official Website - French
  • CIBC Mortgages and CIBC Trust
  • CIBC Asian Banking - Chinese
  • FirstCaribbean International Bank (CIBC-Caribbean Region)
  • Amicus Bank
  • President's Choice Financial Home Page
  • President's Choice Financial
  • FirstLine Mortgages
  • PenFund



  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce "neutral," target price raised - New Ratings
  • UPDATE 1-Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce profit falls - Reuters
  • 'Nice-guy' Lukassen bowls his first 300 - Brockville Recorder and Times
  • Bank of Canada raises interest rate to 3.75 percent - People's Daily Online
  • Brison's bad judgment - Winnipeg Sun
  • Watchdog to review new CIBC fax fiasco - Globe and Mail
  • Banks remain safe: UBS - Globe and Mail
  • CWB Reports Record Quarterly Earnings - Canada NewsWire (press release)
  • Energy, financials lift Canada stocks - Investor's Business Daily (subscription)
  • Income-trust probe looks at Brison e-mail to bank - Globe and Mail
  • ... more news

Related articles

Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (search). This article uses material from that article.

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