ICS Lecture: Imperial Designs, An Unofficial History of the Royal Bank of Canada in the Caribbean

As part of its Conferencias Caribeñas 6 lecture series, the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras invites the academic community and the general public to the lecture “Imperial Designs: An Unofficial History of the Royal Bank of Canada in the Caribbean” by Dr. Peter Hudson (Department of History, Vanderbilt University). Dr. Julia Sagebien (Schools of Business Administration at UPR-RP and Dalhousie University, Canada) will serve as commentator. The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 25, 2010, 1:00pm – 3:00n at Amphitheater CRA 108 (Carmen Rivera de Alvarado Building), School of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

Abstract: Since they opened a branch in Havana in 1899, the Royal Bank of Canada has been among the most aggressive and entrepreneurial financial institutions operating in the Caribbean region. They outpaced both their Canadian and British rivals and their American counterparts in the region, shedding the mantle of conservatism and caution long cultivated by the Canadian banking community and setting out on an ambitious program of internationalization. Their expansionist strategy was flexible and multiform. They eagerly adapted to local economic and political conditions while opportunistically aligning themselves with Canadian, American, and British power as needs demanded. These strategies anticipated the current global/local tactics deployed by contemporary multinational financial institutions as they seek, in an unregulated financial landscape, new markets and new customers, while the Royal Bank’s Caribbean history casts a shadow over the myth of Canadian anti-imperialism.

For further information, you may call Dr. Humberto García Muñiz, Director, at (787) 764-0000, extension 4212, or write to iec@uprrp.edu

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