Scotiabank President and CEO Rick Waugh Addresses 180th Annual General Meeting
SASKATOON, April 3, 2012 /CNW/ - In addition to Scotiabank's straightforward business model, its diversity by business, geography and people are the keys to the Bank's stability and success said Rick Waugh, President and CEO addressing shareholders at the Bank's 180th Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, it's first ever in the city.
Mr. Waugh acknowledged that the current global economic environment continues to present challenges and the recovery continues to be slow, and below normal. He said that while Canada is in a stronger position than some of its peers, emerging markets are playing a greater role in the global economy than ever before. "The key to making the most of opportunities in tough conditions is to understand what your most important strengths are, and put them to work," said Rick Waugh. "Internationally, we've chosen to expand to markets where it makes the most sense, focusing on higher growth and higher potential regions where we already have a presence, where we can leverage our resources and expertise, and have a comparative advantage."
"A key to our success is that we operate as a local bank in each market, and I'm very proud that our customers see us that way as well." Today, Scotiabank is one of the 20 largest banks in the world by market capitalization and is more than 77,000 employees strong. In 2011, Scotiabank was also recognized as among the 20 safest banks in the world.
Commenting on current concerns in the Canadian housing market, Mr. Waugh said "the current concerns about Canada's housing market are reason for caution but not pessimism. Our portfolios are in good shape, as are our customers." He went on to say that he agrees with the government that "it's up to the banks themselves to manage their risks and advise customers appropriately."
Mr. Waugh also commented on new regulations saying Canada has and continues to have sound supervision but "rigid rules and regulations which are designed to limit systemic risk and problems that occurred in other parts of the world impair our own proven and successful financial markets. There is a reasonable probability that they will have unintended consequences that could inhibit future growth of economies and jobs and even work against the goals of greater financial sector stability."
One of Scotiabank's key assets is its global brand. Scotiabank was named one of the top 100 global brands and named among the top 20 financial services brands. Mr. Waugh commented on the move to a more unified Scotiabank brand saying "this helps us leverage Scotiabank's excellent reputation outside Canada that was reinforced by our strong performance during the crisis and now well beyond it." The Bank plans to reduce its number of brands in half to around 30. Earlier this year Scotia Capital transitioned to Scotiabank, Global Banking and Markets as part of this strategy.
Mr. Waugh also spoke about the economic opportunities in Saskatchewan. "It's a time of great opportunity and Scotiabank is committed to helping customers make the most of these opportunities, just as we did more than a century ago when we first arrived here and opened our first branch in 1906."
After a year of record results, Scotiabank is building for the future. Mr. Waugh said, "Scotiabank's tremendous diversity is a clear advantage and we are taking some important steps to ensure we are making the most of it. We are continuing to build our culture of collaboration across business lines and geographies, so that every part of our diverse organization is pulling in the same direction to deliver on our core purpose, which is to help customers become financially better off."
"Focusing on meeting the needs of our customers has shaped our Bank's history for 180 years, and even though a lot has changed in that time, customer focus will determine our success in the future. Our continued success means making the most of our broad-based businesses and our diverse team, and working together across our organization to provide seamless and complete solutions to customers." He concluded by saying "we are strong and are very well positioned to succeed."
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 77,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $637 billion (as at January 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.
Image with caption: "Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank speaks to John Mayberry, Chairman of the Board, Scotiabank during the 2012 Scotiabank annual general meeting, on Tuesday April 3,2012 at Teachers Credit Union Place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (CNW Group/Scotiabank)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120403_C2827_PHOTO_EN_11913.jpg
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