RBC Financial Group Adopts Equator Principles

Toronto - 21 July 2003

RBC Financial Group today became the first Canadian financial institution to adopt the “Equator Principles,” a voluntary set of guidelines to manage social and environmental issues related to large-scale project financing in developing countries. These principles will be applied globally to project financings in all industry sectors, including mining, oil and gas, and forestry.

The Equator Principles were first adopted by ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Barclays plc, Citigroup Inc., Credit Lyonnais, Credit Suisse First Boston, HypoVereinsbank, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Scotland plc, WestLB AG, and Westpac Banking Corporation and are based on certain policies and guidelines of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.

“As a leading North American financial services provider, we recognize our role in supporting and advocating sustainable business practices,” said Suzanne Labarge, vice-chairman and chief risk officer, RBC Financial Group. “The adoption of the Equator Principles enhances our existing environmental risk management policies and commitment to sustainable development.”

In adopting the Equator Principles, RBC undertakes to provide loans only to those projects whose sponsors can demonstrate to the satisfaction of RBC that they have addressed key social and environmental issues in accordance with our policies and processes.

As North America’s seventh largest bank by assets and tenth largest bank by market capitalization, RBC occupies almost 20 million square feet of office space, and employs over 60,000 people worldwide. Its businesses are required to adhere to environmental policies regarding everything from responsible lending, to choosing suppliers and recycling. RBC Financial Group was also the first North American company to sign the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development. Click for more information on RBC’s Environmental Risk Management

The full text of the Equator Principles and FAQ can be found at Equator Principles

About RBC Financial Group

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX, NYSE: RY) uses the initials RBC as a prefix for its businesses and operating subsidiaries, which operate under the master brand name of RBC Financial Group. Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest financial institution as measured by market capitalization and assets, and is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. It provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. The company employs 60,000 people who serve more than 12 million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in North America and some 30 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.

For more information, please contact:

Beja Rodeck, RBC Media Relations, 416-974-5506