Canada’s CIBC bank CEO urges government to grow revenue via investment than taxation

1 min read
The new Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) logo is seen on a building in Toronto

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig on Thursday called on policy makers to focus on generating revenue by investing in growth rather than through taxation.

Dodig’s prepared remarks at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting come as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is widely expected to outline details of a plan to tax banks’ profits in its annual budget on Thursday.

Dodig’s did not refer specifically to the tax, but when it was first proposed in August, he stressed the need to grow the economy and secure foreign direct investment.

With interest rates rising and national debts that need servicing, governments will need to generate revenue, he said in the prepared remarks at the shareholder meeting.

“You can tax your way to that revenue, or grow your way there by creating a more productive economy that generates more wealth for everyone,” he said. “Our view is that investing in economic growth is the best way forward for all. We must choose our path, and quickly.”

Bank of Nova Scotia CEO Brian Porter on Tuesday slammed the bank tax as a “knee-jerk reaction.”

Dodig called for Canada to lead not only in growing areas of technology, including artificial intelligence and cyber security, but also to be a “global leader in the energy sector of tomorrow.”

(Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Bernard Orr)