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Welcome to the CIBC 2018 Annual Report

We are building a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world that delivers superior client experience and total shareholder return.


Message from the President and Chief Executive Officer

Victor G. Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer

“This past year we continued to focus collectively on building a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world.”

2018 marked a year of significant progress as we continued to build a strong client-focused bank that creates enduring value for our shareholders and communities.

At CIBC, we have been transforming our bank for several years, and this past year we continued to focus collectively on building a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world. In 2018, we continued to further embed a client-focused culture and invest in our cross-border platform, helping to strengthen our relationships with our clients and deliver consistently high-quality earnings and value for shareholders.

As always, we remained focused on meeting our responsibility to support the long-term strength and prosperity of the people and communities we serve. This is true at the corporate level, with our commitment to sustainability and our support for social and economic development, and at the individual level, where our generous team members give back day in and day out.

I'm proud of what our team achieved on every level in 2018 and pleased to have the opportunity to share with you some of our accomplishments.

Photo of CIBC representative with a client

In 2018, we continued to further embed a client-focused culture and invest in our cross-border platform, helping to strengthen our relationships with our clients and deliver consistently high-quality earnings and value for shareholders.

Delivering on our plan

Early in the fiscal year we held an Investor Day to provide an update on our progress and lay out four areas of focus that are driving the execution of our strategy:

  1. Building a strong client-focused franchise. Whether our relationships are high-touch and based around advice and ideas, or more high-tech in nature, our aim is to get the balance right for each of our clients. Our client-focused culture will define our bank as we strive to bring the best of CIBC to our clients with each interaction and every decision we make.
  2. Diversifying our earnings growth. We are diversifying our earnings and business by investing in our Canadian and U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management platforms to grow these businesses and expand our client relationships. In addition, we will leverage our Capital Markets strength to deliver advice and solutions across our bank.
  3. Optimizing our operational efficiency. Building on our ongoing simplification efforts, we are targeting a 52% efficiency ratio in 2022 and will achieve it by driving growth, by maintaining a strong focus on continuous improvement, and by keeping a careful eye on costs.
  4. Maintaining capital and balance sheet discipline. We will also continue to take a sound approach to deploying our capital, ensuring that we are smart about how we invest our resources aligned to our strategy.

Looking back at the year, our strong and consistent financial results demonstrate that we are executing well. Put simply, we laid out our plan and we are delivering. We have a strong foundation and client base, a talented and energized team, and the ability to deliver growth. Across our four strategic business units, our financial results reflect the solid momentum that we have established.

CIBC reported record net income of $5.3 billion or $11.65 per share. Adjusted net income was $5.5 billion or $12.21 per share, compared with $4.7 billion or $11.11 per share a year ago. Our adjusted return on common shareholders’ equity was strong at 17.4%. Our adjusted efficiency ratio ended the year at 55.6%, as a result of our efforts to reduce costs, as well as to deliver revenue growth.

Our reported and adjusted diluted EPS growth were 4% and 10%, respectively, reflecting solid earnings from our strategic business units. We ended the year with a strong Basel III Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 11.4%.


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Revenue, Canadian Personal and Small Business Banking


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Revenue, Canadian Commercial Banking and Wealth Management

Our strong results were supported by a healthy economic backdrop in North America where, in both Canada and the U.S., the unemployment rate is hovering around cyclical lows and GDP growth rates remain solid. In addition, central banks on both sides of the border have been raising interest rates as they monitor the economy with an eye to consumer debt levels and global trade policy developments.

Deepening client relationships on both sides of the border

Over the year, our team continued to deepen relationships with our clients, as we worked to leverage our expanded U.S. capabilities with CIBC Bank USA. Having passed the one-year anniversary of the acquisition of The PrivateBank, we’ve established a strong cross-border platform from which to serve our clients and deliver growth to our shareholders. We’ve seen strong results from our U.S. business by working together as a unified team across commercial banking, wealth management and capital markets.

As part of our North American growth strategy, we also introduced CIBC Innovation Banking, a full-service business that delivers strategic advice and funding to technology and innovation clients at each stage of their business development. This exciting new venture was formed with the addition of Wellington Financial, and the team is focused on deploying capital and expertise to enable clients in this dynamic and fast-growing segment. On the consumer front, we launched our new CIBC Agility™ High Interest Savings Account, a U.S. online banking offer, aimed at attracting U.S. clients from new markets to our bank.


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Revenue, U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management


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Revenue, Capital Markets

Transforming to meet our clients’ evolving needs

At CIBC, we are innovating sensibly in ways that offer our clients real value, whether that be better financial advice, an easier way to bank, or a way to manage their company’s cash flow online, anytime. We’re listening to our clients, understanding their needs and delivering innovation that makes a difference to them.

In the last year, we’ve successfully transitioned nearly two million clients to our new direct banking brand, Simplii Financial. With straightforward, no-fee daily banking and great rates, we’ll continue to grow this business by enhancing functionalities and introducing new products for these clients who prefer to bank through online, mobile or telephone banking.

With an ever-increasing number of day-to-day transactions conducted outside of our banking centres, we’re continuing to transform our banking centres to make financial advice the focus. Over the past three years, we transformed more than 150 locations and, as a result, our teams are having more conversations and laying the foundation for life-long client relationships. One indication of this is the increased number of financial plans we’ve put in place for our clients, helping ensure our clients achieve their goals – whether that be buying a home, saving for retirement, or building a business.

In addition, our commitment to enhancing existing technologies and building new digital solutions that provide our clients with greater convenience to manage their banking has earned us industry recognition from Forrester. For the fifth straight year, CIBC received the top overall ranking in mobile banking functionality and user experience.

We’ve established a strong cross-border platform from which to serve our clients and deliver growth to our shareholders.

Building stronger communities for a better future

At CIBC, we are committed to making a significant and lasting contribution to the well-being of the people and communities we serve. We recognize the importance of socially responsible investments and are seeing a growing demand among our clients for investment solutions that contribute to a better future. We’ve become a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment and stated our commitment to integrate environmental, social and corporate-governance (ESG) factors into our investment practices.

We were the only Canadian bank to make the Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in 2018, placing in the top 2% of companies globally on our ESG performance.

Beyond our corporate support for the social and economic development of our communities, our team members are our most passionate ambassadors, and care deeply about the places we call home. For team CIBC, givieng back is personal and it comes from the heart and our desire to make our communities better. Our team’s personal generosity – both through their donations and volunteerism – is something we’re very proud of at our bank.

United as one team for our clients

Our team members are the face of our bank to our clients and our greatest resource. We are harnessing the strength and capability of our approximately 44,000 team members to unlock the power of our franchise and drive us forward.

We know that delivering the best of our bank to our clients starts with delivering the best experience to our teams. That’s why we continue to focus on harnessing the strength and passion of our people. Through our CIBC Leadership Institute and broader development focus, we will ensure we are instilling an inclusive client-focused culture that delivers results for our stakeholders. The strength of our team and approach is evident in our recognition as a top employer. Last year, we were named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a Best Diversity Employer, and amongst the Top Employers for Young People. As we look to the future, we know that we need to continue to pioneer new approaches, evolve our culture and attract and retain the best and the brightest. Our investment in our new global headquarters, CIBC Square, is one visible sign of how we’re shaping our bank and culture to innovate, collaborate and work as one team to help our clients prosper.

To the CIBC team, I’m incredibly proud of all the work our team is doing together to focus on our clients, deliver value to our shareholders, and strengthen our communities. Thank you for your contributions.

To our clients, we are committed to continuing to earn your business each and every day, and we appreciate the trust you place in us. And finally, to our shareholders, I would like to thank you for your support and for motivating us to continually evolve. I’m excited about the opportunity for us to continue to transform our bank, as we build a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world.

CEO sign

Victor G. Dodig
President and Chief Executive Officer

Message from the Chair of the Board

Photo of the Honourable John Manley, CIBC Chair of the Board

Advancing our North American growth strategy

CIBC’s results in 2018 demonstrate the solid progress being made to advance our client-focused North American growth strategy, including establishing our U.S. Commercial Banking and Wealth Management businesses.

Your Board provided oversight of this strategy and advice to management throughout the year, as CIBC’s business plans continue to deliver sustainable results and value to shareholders.

Aligning executive compensation with shareholder interests continued to be one of your Board’s principal responsibilities this year. Our approach is to link executive compensation to the successful achievement of our strategy, including earnings sustainability, progress on client experience goals, performance relative to our peers, adherence to our risk tolerance and individual performance against objectives.

Corporate Responsibility is another focus area for your Board. At CIBC, we believe we have a responsibility to the communities we serve beyond the economic growth that our bank helps create. CIBC is active across the spectrum of environmental, social and governance areas in our commitment to Corporate Responsibility, including climate change, community investment and diversity.

Looking at the environment, this year we announced the bank’s support for the global Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures because we recognize that climate is an important issue. We also introduced our new global community investment initiative, One for Change, inspired by the CIBC team’s shared passion for giving back, helping people when they need it most, and making our communities a place everyone can call home. And as part of our continuing focus on increasing gender diversity, women currently represent 44% of the directors on your Board, exceeding our minimum target.

In closing, I would like to thank your CEO, Victor Dodig, as well as your senior management team, for their leadership in 2018 in building a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world. And to the 44,000 members of the CIBC team, thank you for all you do every day in service to our clients and communities.

Chair sign

The Honourable John P. Manley
Chair of the Board

View Board of Directors

CIBC Corporate Profile

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution.

Learn more about who we are.

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2018 Year in Review

  • Logo Simplii Financial Simplii Financial™ officially opened for business

    Launched CIBC Innovation Banking

  • Logo CIBC One for Change Launched new global community investment brand One for Change

    Logo Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Announced support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

  • First anniversary of the acquisition of PrivateBancorp, Inc.

    Logo CIBC Private Wealth Management Atlantic Trust rebranded to CIBC Private Wealth Management®

  • Logo CIBC Aventura Launched enhancements to our premium Aventura® travel rewards cards to benefit our clients

    Photo CIBC representative with 2 clients using digital tablets Completed the transformation of more than 150 banking centres to advice centres

Balanced Scorecard

About Us

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with a market capitalization of $50 billion and a Basel III Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 11.4%.

Across Personal and Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses – our 44,000 employees provide a full range of financial products and services to 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients in Canada, the United States and around the world.

At CIBC, we’re building a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world that delivers superior client experience and total shareholder return by focusing on four key areas:

  1. Building a strong client-focused franchise
  2. Diversifying our earnings growth
  3. Optimizing our operational efficiency
  4. Maintaining capital and balance sheet discipline

At CIBC, we are committed to delivering sustainable earnings growth to our shareholders and creating a relationship-oriented bank for our clients. We continue to identify initiatives to free up resources and allow us to reinvest in our business to accelerate revenue growth and reduce our structural cost base. We will do so with a keen focus on industry-leading fundamentals in capital, expenses and risk management.

Corporate Responsibility

Sustainable Banking for a Modern World

We recognize that the long-term success and viability of our business is closely linked to the confidence and trust our clients and stakeholders have in our bank. Engaging with stakeholders on environmental, social and governance issues helps to shape our progress.

Photo of 2018 Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure

Our ESG Commitment

Contributing to a sustainable future to help our clients, teams and communities grow and prosper.

  • Client Focus

    As we build a relationship-oriented bank for a modern world, we continue to provide affordable, accessible banking when and where our clients want. We aim to build deep and enduring client relationships by putting our clients at the centre of everything that we do.
  • Responsible Banking

    We recognize the importance of environmental issues and the role we can play in sustainable development through our lending, investing and sourcing practices. We aspire to be a leader in environmental performance.
  • Culture

    We have a strong and inclusive culture of doing what’s right for our clients and each other. Together we create an inclusive workplace full of opportunity, creativity and innovation.
  • Building Community

    CIBC is a major contributor to the Canadian economy and to the communities in which we live and work. We create economic value by helping our clients grow and prosper, as well as creating employment opportunities, purchasing local goods and services, supporting small businesses, and investing in social issues that are important.
  • Governance

    We believe good corporate governance is the basis for creating sustainable shareholder value. We conduct our business with honesty and integrity. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and strive to fulfill the commitments we have made to each of our stakeholders.
  • Logo for Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • Logo for FTSE4Good
  • Logo for Jantzi sustainability Index
  • Logo for Top 100 Employers 2019
  • Logo for Best Diversity Employer 2018
  • Logo for Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens