Research Outline

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Implementations in Canadian Banks


To find a case study of a Canadian bank that has successfully integrated artificial intelligence into its services, and outline the successes or failures of artificial intelligence (AI) implementations in Canadian banks.

Early Findings

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

  • RBC was one of the first North American banks to incorporate artificial intelligence into equity research.
  • In 2018, RBC capitalized on the opportunity to use machine learning as a way to dramatically improve the speed and accuracy in conducting capital markets research.
  • In 2018, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) introduced a wave of technology initiatives in a bid to attract more tech-savvy customers who embrace a digital lifestyle.
  • RBC spent $3.2 billion in 2018 on technology, including artificial intelligence, digital products and social media.
  • In 2014, McKay, RBC CEO who began his career as a computer programmer, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of AI on earnings calls and made significant investments in AI, including:
    • Developing the AI-powered NOMI tool, which launched last summer, for its retail customers to help them better manage their finances by tracking spending and suggesting opportunities for saving .
    • Building research labs and partnering with universities to drive advancement in AI, most recently with the January announcement of a new lab in Edmonton.
  • RBC has built its success in wealth management by catering to high-net worth entrepreneurs (in the entertainment, real estate, professional services, and specialty finance industries). "The bank sees these customers as especially desirable due to unique needs beyond what an automated robo-advisor can fulfill. "
  • AI is a critical resource to the bank in addressing the needs of high-net worth entrepreneurs. As fewer clients have personal relationships with their bankers, AI allows the bank to still deliver personalized service.
  • RBC is also applying AI to its research efforts.
  • The bank announced a partnership with the University of Toronto during fall 2017, "launching two initiatives relating to research in machine learning and AI, and funding a mentoring program for AI-focused entrepreneurs and startups."

RBC - NOMI Budgets

  • In 2019, RBC launched NOMI Budgets on the RBC Mobile app.
  • NOMI Budgets is using artificial intelligence (AI) "to proactively analyze a customer's spending history, recommend an appropriate budget and send timely updates to help keep them on track in a seamless and convenient way."
  • "NOMI blends AI and client data with a highly personal touch to identify trends, unusual activity and potential savings opportunities that help clients manage their day-to-day finances through the RBC Mobile app."