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City National deal began with a Canadian banker going undercover
City National deal began with a Canadian banker going undercover

Before spending $5.4 billion to buy City National, the Los Angeles "bank to the stars," Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Dave McKay wanted to see firsthand what he would be getting. McKay personally went to branches in L.A. and New York, posing as one of the wealthy clients that City National specializes in serving — the kind of customer that made RBC want to buy the bank. "I actually mystery-shopped New York and L.A. branches and found the experience was very, very consistent," McKay told The Times. City National Bank has long been known for its Hollywood clientele and deep ties to the entertainment industry. But the way the firm caters to the walk-in...

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