TORONTO, April 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Scotiabank today hosted its 187th Annual Meeting of Shareholders at the Scotiabank Centre in Toronto. President and CEO Brian Porter provided shareholders with an update on the Bank's performance and progress on key initiatives through 2018. In his remarks, Mr. Porter focussed specifically on two areas of Scotiabank's Strategic Agenda: re-shaping the Bank's geographic focus and business mix; and digital transformation.
Speaking to geographic focus and business mix, Mr. Porter commented on recent divestitures as evidence of efforts to de-risk the Bank. "Within our strategic footprint, we have a particular focus on Canada, the US, and the high-growth and stable countries of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc," said Mr. Porter. "Broadly speaking, the Pacific Alliance countries have business-friendly environments, healthy democracies and a commitment to good governance, above-average economic growth and, most importantly, a rapidly expanding middle class."
Mr. Porter also commented on the importance of scale in providing higher returns to shareholders. "Scale matters in banking, now, more than ever. That is why we are focusing on building scale through organic efforts, buying scale through key acquisitions and better leveraging our existing scale to generate efficiencies," he said.
With $7 billion spent in 2018 to acquire several high-quality businesses, the Bank is focused on integrating these acquisitions and generating synergies and benefits in the near term and beyond. "When it comes to integrations, we have a long and successful track record," Brian Porter stated. "In the case of our current integrations, we are very comfortable with how each of them is proceeding."
Acknowledging that technology is integral to operating the Bank, Mr. Porter addressed Scotiabank's digital transformation. "By investing in software, data, and analytics, we are developing a deeper understanding of our customers' needs and financial goals. In doing so, we are providing our customers with a better banking experience that is much more personalised."
As a specific example of the Bank's technological advancement, Mr. Porter referenced Scotiabank's new mortgage experience eHome; the first truly digital, end-to-end mortgage process in Canada. Since its launch, Canadians have been able to complete a mortgage application, obtain approval, and close on a home purchase without having to visit branch.
Mr. Porter also spoke to Scotiabank's investment in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to drive operational efficiency, and by extension, create tangible business value. To date, Scotiabank has more than 200 automated processes in place, which helps create tens of millions of dollars in value for our shareholders.
In his remarks, Mr. Porter also thanked Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom O'Neill for his contributions to the Board and to Scotiabank. Mr. O'Neill retires as Chairman of the Board at the close of Scotiabank's 187th Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Mr. O'Neill joined the Board as a Director in 2008, and was appointed Chair in 2014. Mr. Porter remarked that Mr. O'Neill has personified good governance and leadership and that Scotiabank has greatly benefitted from his guidance and steady hand.
To close, Mr. Porter recognized the critical role Scotiabank plays in the communities in which Scotiabankers live and work. Mr. Porter recognized the contribution Scotiabank makes to community. In 2018 alone Scotiabank contributed 370,000 volunteer hours and invested $100 million in community organizations through donations, sponsorships and other forms of assistance.
Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in the Americas. We are dedicated to helping our more than 25 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 98,000 employees and assets of over $1 trillion (as at January 31, 2019), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.
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