The Financial Post reports in its Friday edition that Royal Bank of Canada's net income surged in the second quarter as Canada's largest lender released provisions for loan losses and rode a frenzy of activity in capital markets to beat expectations. The Post's Stephanie Marotta writes that RBC earned $4-billion for the three months ended April 30, or $2.76 a share, up from $1.5-billion, or $1 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Adjusting for one-time items RBC earned $2.80 per share. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $2.51 a share. Four major Canadian banks have reported expectation-beating quarters fuelled by drops in provisions for credit losses. When the pandemic caused the first wave of closures last spring, profits tumbled as the banks set aside billions of dollars as a buffer against the sour loans anticipated. However, as vaccines roll out and economic duress eases, lenders are earmarking fewer funds for credit-loss provisions. "We're seeing the banks start to put COVID behind them. It's not like we're at the finish line yet, but credit continues to improve," said Scotiabank analyst Meny Grauman. TD, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce also reduced their loan loss provisions.
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