Good morning. My name is Russell Purre, and I'm the deputy anti-money laundering officer for RBC. Prior to this, I was chief compliance officer for RBC Dominion Securities, and head of wealth management compliance here in Canada and for Latin America.
While many of you know RBC because of our presence in Canada, you may not be as familiar with our broader organization, which obviously is of importance to your committee's study. I will take a few minutes to tell you about who we are and what we do from a global perspective.
We are Canada's largest bank, as measured by assets and market capitalization. We are also among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, providing personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services, and wholesale banking, all on a global basis. We employ approximately 80,000 full-time and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector, and institutional clients through our offices in Canada, the U.S., and 49 other countries globally.
Our international activities are predicated on client service and exploring business opportunities. To use the Caribbean as an example, we've been active in that region since 1864. We actually had branches in the Caribbean before we had branches in most parts of Canada. The reason for this was that we followed the trading activities of our clients as they sailed from our original headquarters, which was based in Halifax, to pursue business opportunities to the south. Those same client services and business considerations motivate our international activities now. We are looking for competitive opportunities to service clients in our key business lines, wherever they may be.
Our goal is to have a positive impact on the economies of the communities and countries in which we do business by delivering shareholder returns, creating good jobs, paying our fair share of taxes, and purchasing goods and services responsibly from suppliers of all sizes.
To this end, last year RBC helped create economic prosperity by providing good jobs to our 80,000 employees with compensation and benefits of approximately $9.3 billion globally, by paying taxes of $3.1 billion, and by buying 5.9 billion dollars' worth of goods and services globally from 36,000 suppliers of all sizes.
We provided loans, services, and advice to businesses and organizations around the world, enabling them to operate, build, and grow.
Our reputation for trust is the foundation of our relationship with clients and the reason for our success both at home and abroad. We go to considerable lengths to ensure that we do not undertake activities that would compromise this reputation, by conducting ourselves with integrity in everything we do, guided by our comprehensive code of conduct. All RBC employees are governed by this code, which reflects our fundamental values and provides the integral foundation for the way we do business. Based on eight guiding principles, it is for all RBC companies and for all our employees globally.
We work hard to uphold the principles, policies, and procedures that promote integrity and ensure compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Of interest to this committee will be our activities in 2012 to update our framework for managing regulatory compliance risk. We recently updated our anti-money laundering framework and related policies, and we'll continue to ensure our policies and procedures are updated to comply with new regulatory requirements, industry developments, and business processes. In the area of taxation, we fully comply with all domestic and international regulations, and we have extensive internal risk management and governance controls in place.
For any type of account opening, we follow know-your-client rules. This is the case anywhere we do business globally. This includes beneficial ownership of the funds, source of wealth, and the purpose of the activity intended in the account. We do other background checks as well, such as running our clients against a variety of global AML lists and checking to see if they are politically exposed persons.
There is an RBC enterprise-wide baseline policy that drives information collection, which derives from OSFI and FINTRAC. This is closely monitored and tested by OSFI, and we are always improving standards and procedures.
On top of our baseline policy, we also apply local standards based on local regulations in the markets in which we operate. The regulatory standards of all the jurisdictions in which we operate are very high, and the internal policies and procedures build on and enhance these global standards.
Thank you for your attention to these matters. I would be pleased to answer any questions from the committee.