Scotiabank President and CEO Addresses 179th Annual Meeting of Shareholders

Outlines Challenges and Opportunities for Canada's Most International Bank

HALIFAX, April 5 /CNW/ - Having recorded record results in fiscal 2010, Scotiabank President and CEO Rick Waugh commented on regulatory reform, the importance of a strong corporate culture that includes sound risk management at all levels, and Scotiabank's positioning to take advantage of growth opportunities in his annual address to shareholders. Scotiabank holds its annual general meeting in its founding city of Halifax every second year.

In looking at challenges that will impact the Bank, Mr. Waugh acknowledged the need for regulatory change, but cautioned against "one-size-fits-all rules" that underestimate the value of strong institutional practices.

"The focus must be on looking ahead to prevent the next crisis, not focusing on protecting against the last one," said Mr. Waugh. "It must also be kept in mind that two of the key focal points of re-regulation - capital and liquidity - are needed once we're in a crisis but it is sound risk management and funding that prevents a crisis in the first place."

To emphasize the importance of solid institutional policies, particularly a strong culture that includes an enterprise-wide approach to risk management, Mr. Waugh turned to Scotiabank as an example.

"Our culture is rooted in our understanding that Scotiabank has a very important role to play in driving sustainable growth in the economy by providing products, services and loans to our customers; by offering great careers for our employees and most importantly, by growing and being profitable in a sustainable, prudent manner while contributing appropriate taxes. It also means balancing this with a strong risk culture, which implies an appropriate risk appetite and the ability to execute it throughout the organization."

Noting Scotiabank's record results in fiscal 2010, Mr. Waugh stressed that the Bank will not be complacent. Organizational changes made in 2011, including the establishment of a new business line, Global Wealth Management, position the Bank well for long-term growth.

"In this unique time in the global financial sector, Scotiabank's strong capital position, diversified international presence, and straightforward business model present us with significant opportunities in all of our markets. Our reorganization allows us to take full advantage of these opportunities, which we have already begun to do. Our record results in the first quarter of 2011 demonstrate that we are on the right track."

Mr. Waugh concluded his remarks with great optimism about the Bank's ability to take advantage of growth opportunities.

"As always, in the coming months and years we will keep a close watch on regulatory developments and manage our business accordingly with the interests of all of our stakeholders in mind. Scotiabank is well prepared to face the challenges ahead, and ready to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity that exists for us right now."

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $541 billion (as at January 31, 2011), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information:

Media Contact:
Patty Stathokostas, 416-866-3625, patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital.com


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