Scotia profits jump 11.5 per centFriday, June 11, 2021
BY KELLARAY MILES
Scotiabank Group during its second quarter or six-month period ended April 30 posted increased net profits of $4.5 billion — up 11.5 per cent or $463 million more than in the corresponding quarter last year.
It was a performance by the bank which also represented a 56 per cent increase in profits when compared quarter over quarter.
“We consider this first half [of the financial year] to be highly successful and we look forward to the second half of the year with optimism, focus and purpose in delivering value to all of our customers,” said President and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Audrey Tugwell Henry during a virtual investors briefing held yesterday.
During the reporting period, commendable performances from the group's insurance arm, contributed to an eight per cent increase in gross premiums written when compared year on year.
“Insurance is an important area of focus for the business as the market remains highly under-insured and one of the lessons the pandemic has underscored is the need for protection against unforeseen circumstances,” the bank said in its report.
Amid harsh economic downturns occasioned by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the group reported increased performance in other segments such as its mortgage portfolio which grew by 11 per cent along with an uptick in its capital market business which recently arranged a $3 billion private bond placement for an unnamed major client. Deposits also increased to $359.6 billion during the period. Paradoxically the bank's loan portfolio, however, reduced by some $8.4 billion when compared to the prior period.
At the end of the six months period total assets for the period grew to $573 billion and revenues despite a $163-million dip amounted to $21.5 billion while shareholder's equity totalled $118.4 billion.
“Total revenues continue to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as evidenced by the ongoing reduction in interest rates offered in the market and lower transaction volumes, which have contributed to a reduction in the group's net interest income, lower net fees and commissions as well as insurance revenues,” the bank reported in its quarterly report.
The 131-year-old operation and the country's second-largest financial institution in its outlook for the upcoming quarter said that as it seeks to further deliver on its customer first strategy as it also seeks to expand services through a more robust digital network.
Tugwell said that currently plans were in place to add another 29 new ATMs to its already 279 fleet of ATMs by the end of FY2021. “This will represent replacements of older machines as well as an expansion of the total fleet.”
“Digital banking will continue to be at the forefront of our business as technology continues to redefine the status quo. We are optimistic as the economy continues to show signs of recovery and stand ready to support our customers as they rebound and pursue new growth opportunities,” the bank noted that up to the end of the period its electronic transactions had grown to over 95 per cent.
The bank's launch of its online account opening portal for existing customers during this quarter over a two month period yielded the addition of over 15,000 new accounts, which the president and group CEO dubbed a significant win for customers and which boldly supports the bank's digital transformation agenda towards business enablement.
Following the closure of two of its branches in Black River and Old Harbour this year, Scotia now operates from 25 locations across the island supported by six digital branches and two sales centres.
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