TORONTO, April 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Scotiabank today held its 185th Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Toronto. Brian Porter, President and Chief Executive Officer, provided shareholders with an update on the Bank's performance in 2016, he discussed the Bank's perspective on free and open trade, and suggested that Canada has an opportunity to play a leading role in developing the emerging digital economy.
Mr. Porter advocated for the free movement of goods and services, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement. He also stressed the importance of trade agreements to Canada's economic growth and reiterated Scotiabank's support for free trade. He said that while the timing is right to modernize NAFTA to reflect today's economy, ultimately "open markets remain the surest path to greater prosperity." He also called upon political and business leaders to engage in positive public dialogue on the advantages of free trade, and invest in training programs to support displaced workers who seek to join the new economy.
Mr. Porter provided an update on Scotiabank's digital strategy. "Our digital strategy is ambitious: We aspire to be a digital leader in the financial services industry. As we continue to make progress against our strategy, our customers, shareholders and employees will benefit."
He also suggested that Canada should have ambitions to become a leader in the digital economy. "Countries around the world are positioning themselves to take advantage of digital opportunities. Canada needs to be a leader in this area," he said. "The good news is that Canada is off to a strong start."
While governments play an important role in making tax rates competitive, ensuring our regulatory frameworks keep pace with technological change, and fostering conditions that attract and retain Canadian talent, Porter emphasized the role that the private sector plays in driving innovation, "Ultimately, innovation succeeds when investments in people, processes, and technology are driven by the private sector."
As an example, last year, the Scotiabank Digital Factory was launched in downtown Toronto. The Factory not only provides career opportunities for hundreds of Canadians, it is contributing to Canadian innovation. In addition to the Factory in Toronto, Scotiabank has also launched Digital Factories in Mexico City, Lima, Santiago and Bogota. "Scotiabank's investments in skills training and education are another good example of our contribution to Canada's digital economy," Porter said. "We will continue to do what we can to assist Canada in becoming a leader in the digital economy."
Porter concluded by celebrating Scotiabank's history in Canada, and around the world. "Scotiabankers are very proud of our legacy. We all recognize that it is built on a long history of operating with integrity and working to help our customers become better off."
Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 23 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 88,000 employees and assets of $887 billion (as at January 31, 2017), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.
For further information: For media enquiries only: Heather Armstrong, Public, Corporate and Government Affairs, Scotiabank, (416) 933-3250, (647) 632-4524, [email protected]