Royal Bank of Canada's chief executive, Gordon Nixon, said he is more concerned about rising defaults on card debt than he is about mortgages as unemployment rises.

A card portfolio "would be, in my view, much more immediately impacted as a result of a downturn than you'd see in the mortgage portfolio," Mr. Nixon said Thursday during a conference hosted by his company's RBC Capital Markets in Toronto. "We worry about a lot of portfolios, and residential mortgages is one of them, but it wouldn't be on the top of my list."

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