At a Glance

  • 16th international financial centre according to Global Financial Centres Index 2013
  • More than 100,000 employees working at 3,000 organizations
  • 25,000 financial specialists
  • 6.2% of the metropolitan region’s GDP
  • 5,200 students studying finance and 1,300 new graduates every year

The Global Financial Centres Index 2013 ranked Greater Montréal 16th in the world. Banks, insurance, securities, pension funds, and fund management—all these professions are represented in this key sector of the economy comprising 3,000 companies and some 100,000 jobs in the metropolitan region. In addition to being a particularly thriving business environment, the sector can count on a large pool of qualified workers and top-notch university graduates.

Top Five Reasons to Choose Greater Montréal

1. Presence of major leaders who contribute to the stability and health of Canada’s financial system, as shown during the 2008-2011 crisis

  • Desjardins Group
  • National Bank of Canada
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • BMO Financial Group
  • TD Bank Group
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada
  • Standard Life
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

2. Plenty of qualified workers

Companies in this sector have access to over 25,000 finance specialists and thousands of students completing specific programs (e.g., financial engineering, financial mathematics) at the region’s four universities.

3. Dynamic R&D sector

No less than 30 university research units in fields such as derivatives, pension plan administration and financial engineering.

4. Attractive tax credits and incentives

  • Refundable tax credit for international financial centres (IFC), aimed at consolidating the sector’s development by simplifying the implementation and development, in the Montréal agglomeration, of companies specializing in international financial transactions. The measure allows a company holding an IFC certificate to obtain a refundable tax credit representing 30% of the eligible salary for the year for its eligible employees, up to an annual limit of $20,000 per employee. A personal tax benefit in the form of a deduction in calculating income is available for “foreign specialist” employees.
  • Refundable tax credit for the development of e-business, which supports financial companies that want to develop financial services using information and communication technology in Greater Montréal. The credit covers 30% of labour costs, up to $20,000 per eligible job per year.
  • R&D tax credits, up to 15% from the federal government and 17.5% (refundable) from the Québec government.
  • Financial assistance for creating jobs and training from the Québec government.
  • ESSOR fund for major projects.

5. The most competitive operating costs in North America

According to KPMG (2013), Greater Montréal is ranked first among the 20 largest North American cities in regards to the competitiveness of total operating costs for companies providing international financial services. This advantage is the result of the tax credit for international financial centres, affordable costs for labour, office space and energy.

Source: Finance Montréal, Québec’s financial cluster

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