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Canada Report: RIM Has Not Asked Nova Scotia for New Hand-Out, RBC Says It Played No Part in Libor Scandal, and Jobless Rate Beats Expectations


Plus: TD Bank is closing accounts linked to Iran, and Tim Hortons announces free Wi-Fi in time for the school year.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Here's a look at the top stories in the business pages of Canada's newspapers and magazines today.

The Globe and Mail
Canadian Jobless Rate Falls to 7.2% in June
"Canadian employment increased by a net 7,300 positions in June and the jobless rate fell unexpectedly to 7.2%, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa.

"The gain in jobs exceeded the forecasts of Bay Street analysts, who had also predicted that the unemployment rate would remain at 7.3%. Average hourly wages for full-time workers rose 3.3% from a year earlier, the fastest annual rate since the summer of 2009.

"Still, while the June employment increase was fuelled by an impressive 29,000 new full-time positions, much of that hiring was in public-sector jobs in areas like education and health care. Peter Buchanan, an economist with CIBC World Markets, pointed out in a note to clients that this was "a somewhat surprising and likely temporary development given ongoing fiscal restraint."

The Canadian Press via Yahoo Finance Canada
: Troubled RIM Hasn't Asked for Any More Government Funding, Says Nova Scotia
"Embattled smartphone maker Research in Motion hasn't asked Nova Scotia for any more money as it contends with faltering sales and eroding stock price, the province's economic development minister said Thursday.

"Percy Paris told reporters the province has already given RIM millions of dollars over the past four years, and he's hopeful the company will continue to have a presence in Nova Scotia.

"'I'm very pleased to have RIM in the province of Nova Scotia,' he said.'They've been a good employer for hundreds of people in the province and I hope that they're going to be here for many years to come.'

"RIM, which has an office in the Halifax suburb of Bedford, said last week it would lay off about 5,000 employees globally as costs are slashed across the company.

"It also shocked the market by delaying its BlackBerry 10 operating system, which was widely considered a last-ditch effort to save the company.

"Chief executive Thorsten Heins said Tuesday he was confident the company would get past its challenges, insisting RIM isn't in a 'death spiral.'

"Staff with the province's Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department said Thursday that Nova Scotia has already handed $5 million to RIM for training and new equipment."

Bloomberg via Financial Post
Link: RBC Says It Didn't Collude with Other Banks in Libor Rate-Rigging
"Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest lender by assets, said it didn't collude with other banks in setting the London interbank offered rate, distancing itself from probes on whether banks rigged benchmark rates.

"'We have determined that RBC acted in accordance with the British Bankers' Association requirement that our Libor submissions accurately reflected our perception of our cost of funds and that we did not collude with other banks,' Katherine Gay, a spokeswoman for the Toronto-based bank, said today in an emailed statement."

The Globe and Mail
Ottawa Sets New Rules to Settle Consumer Complaints Against Banks
"The federal government is preparing new rules that will allow the country's largest banks to select their own external ombudsman to settle disputes with customers.

"In a series of proposed regulations made public Friday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the government was pressing forward with plans to open up dispute resolution in the consumer banking sector to competition.

"Under the new system, banks will be able to pick from a menu of dispute resolution firms to settle a consumer complaint, however the government said it will ensure each ombudsman is independent and is closely monitored.

"Until a few years ago, the country's banks used the federally appointed Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) to resolve all consumer disputes that couldn't be settled by the financial institutions own internal ombudsmen."

CBC Via Yahoo Finance Canada
Tim Hortons Offers Free Wireless Internet
"Tim Hortons is joining the ranks of restaurants offering a digital perk to its coffee-mad customers - free wireless Internet.

"The ubiquitous donut chain says it will roll out wireless Internet service to 90% of its stores across Canada by September.

"'It's all about convenience and making life easier for our guests,' Tim Hortons spokesman Roland Walton said in a release.

"After undergoing what the company calls a 'rigorous six-month process' with multiple Internet service providers, Tims will work with Bell Canada to roll out the national service to more than 2,000 Tim Hortons locations in time for the new school year."

Postmedia News via The Financial Post
TD Bank Closing Customer Accounts as Part of Iran Sanctions
"A major Canadian bank has begun to close the accounts of some of its customers to comply with new federal regulations that govern economic sanctions against Iran.

"TD Bank Group has confirmed it has been sending letters to clients telling them that, under recent changes to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulation, Canadian financial institutions are forbidden from providing financial services to anyone in Iran or for the benefit of Iran.

"That appears to include any use of an account to send or receive money via wire transfer to or from friends and family in Iran.

"So far, it seems no other Canadian bank has taken similar action, but TD Bank Group spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda said the bank is simply following regulations set out by the Canadian government."

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