TORONTO -- The C-E-Os of Canada's biggest banks say consumers are reaching the limit on how much they can afford to borrow. Royal Bank chief executive Gord Nixon expects households will begin to show more restraint this year and says that will likely slow loan growth at the banks. He told a bank industry conference that he expects consumer lending growth to remain tight for ``an extended period of time'' after several years of double-digit increases. Bank of Montreal chief executive Bill Downe (DOWN) says as consumers borrow less, they will focus on financial planning, like saving for retirement, which will help grow its wealth management business. Scotiabank chief Brian Porter says he's comfortable with the credit quality from his bank's customers and doesn't see any major concerns developing in the real estate market. But Toronto-Dominion Bank head Ed Clark says low interest rates have pushed housing prices higher and the banking industry should be concerned about the potential for a housing bubble. He doesn't think it's going to collapse, but says it's something the bank should be watching. ( The Canadian Press )
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