TORONTO - An environmental group has staged a protest outside RBC (TSX:RY) headquarters in Toronto to call on the bank to no longer invest in the Alberta tar sands project.

Two Alberta women scaled two 15-metre flagpoles this morning in front of the RBC building, and unfurled a banner addressed to Janet Nixon, wife of bank CEO Gordon Nixon.

It called on Nixon, whom the Rainforest Action Network says is a committed environmentalist, to help end RBC's financial involvement with tar sands projects.

The women ended the flagpole protest at about 9 a.m. but a handful of demonstrators remained outside the bank building.

RBC vice-president Katherine Gay says the bank is proud of its leadership in environmental responsibility and is actively involved in promoting and following environmentally responsible business activities.

Gay said in a statement that RBC believes fossil fuel production can be done in an environmentally responsible manner.