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Member Spotlight

The Economy Builders: CIBC

By April 6, 2022April 28th, 2022No Comments

CIBC has adopted an intensely local approach to supporting business owners within a framework of multinational banking and wealth management services. 

Q&A with CIBC

Since its founding as the Canadian Bank of Commerce in 1867, CIBC has grown into a world-leading financial institution. Its 45,000 employees provide a full range of financial services and products to 11 million customers on several continents. 

CIBC plays an important role in nurturing business growth; it provided $4.8 billion in new loan authorizations to small and medium sized companies in Canada in 2021. In addition, it has led 200,000 clients through financial education seminars tailored to the unique needs of women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and Indigenous peoples. It is also known for a strong focus on creating a more secure, equitable and sustainable future. 

The company recently launched the CIBC Foundation with a $70 million endowment as part of its commitment to creating a more equitable society. That commitment is amplified by the organization’s recognition by Mediacorp Canada Inc as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the 10th year. Mediacorp Canada also named them Top Employer for Young People due to its ability to attract and retain top talent. 

A member of South Island Prosperity Partnership since 2020, CIBC has been a key supporter and sponsor of our Rising Economy Week conferences in 2020 and 2021.

Spencer Walker, Director & Team Lead, Commercial Banking for CIBC, tells us about the role CIBC plays in growing Greater Victoria’s economy.

Spencer Walker, Director & Team Lead, Commercial Banking for CIBC.

Why did you join South Island Prosperity Partnership?

We joined South Island Prosperity Partnership to bolster the region’s economic and social prosperity, and look to leverage our financial institutions multiple perspectives and experiences to do so.

What do you see as key to growing a resilient, robust economic future for our region?

The key to our resiliency and our robust economic future is the community itself and the strength of our network. We are proud to support SIPP’s work to bring the community together.

What is our region’s secret sauce when it comes to competing internationally to attract quality talent, businesses with household sustaining jobs and investment?

Our community is fortunate to have great momentum across many industries to build investment in tech, education, financial services, tourism, etc. The key will be to maintain this momentum into the future. 

What are you most excited about in terms of your own organization’s plans and potential?

 Our organization is working to put relationships first and leveraging the many layers of expertise to learn from our clients and partners to help them realize their ambitions. An example of our plans in action is the integration our Commercial Banking team has with our Indigenous Markets team and the impact we have been able to share with some of our First Nations partners. 

What’s one thing about your organization you really want people to know that they probably don’t know?

We have a national footprint but are made up of local community members working diligently to enhance the community on a local level. 

What challenges are you most invested in helping our community overcome, and why?

We enjoy making an impact in the community in multiple ways. An example is the financial literacy programs we offer for all ages and walks of life. 

What lessons have most profoundly impacted you since the pandemic sent shockwaves through our community and economy?

 The biggest lesson from the pandemic is the resiliency and optimism in our community that helped us all work through the challenging times. 

When you envision the South Island region in 2040, what will have changed? What does our future look like?

Our community will continue to grow in attracting new talent, investment and high-quality jobs, and we are looking forward to contributing to our growth.