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Bank of Nova Scotia
Trading nameScotiabank
TypePublic company
Traded asTSXBNS
S&P/TSX 60 component
IndustryFinancial services
Halifax, Nova Scotia
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario[1]
Key peopleBrian J. Porter (President and CEO)
Sabi S. Marwah (COO)
Sean McGuckin (CFO)
Revenue$19.70 billion CAD (2012)
Net incomeIncrease $1.768 billion CAD (July 31, 2013)
Total assets$743 billion CAD (July 31, 2013)
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Bank of Nova Scotia
Trading nameScotiabank
TypePublic company
Traded asTSXBNS
S&P/TSX 60 component
IndustryFinancial services
Halifax, Nova Scotia
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario[1]
Key peopleBrian J. Porter (President and CEO)
Sabi S. Marwah (COO)
Sean McGuckin (CFO)
Revenue$19.70 billion CAD (2012)
Net incomeIncrease $1.768 billion CAD (July 31, 2013)
Total assets$743 billion CAD (July 31, 2013)

The Bank of Nova Scotia (French: Banque de la Nouvelle-Écosse), commonly known as Scotiabank (French: Banque Scotia), is the third largest bank in Canada by deposits and market capitalization. It serves some 21 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world and offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets of $743 billion, Scotiabank shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

The bank was incorporated by the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia on March 30, 1832, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with William Lawson (1772–1848) serving as the first president.[2] The bank moved its executive offices to Toronto, Ontario, in March 1900.[3][4] Scotiabank has billed itself as "Canada's most international bank" due to its acquisitions primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean, but also in Europe and India as well. BNS Institution Number (or bank number) is 002. The company ranked at number 84 on the Forbes Global 2000 listing in 2013[5] and is currently under the leadership of Brian J. Porter who serves as CEO and President.

History and expansion[edit]

View of a Scotiabank facade in Amherst, Nova Scotia. This structure was erected in 1907.

The 19th century[edit]

Scotiabank was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1832 under the name of the Bank of Nova Scotia. The bank's vision was to facilitate the trans-Atlantic trade of the time.[6] Later, in 1883, Bank of Nova Scotia acquired The Union Bank of Prince Edward Island,[7] although most of the bank's expansion efforts in the century took the form of branch openings.

The bank launched its branch banking system by opening in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The expansion was limited to the Maritimes until 1882, when the bank moved west by opening a branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Manitoba branch later closed but the bank continued to expand into the American Midwest. This included opening a branch in Minneapolis in 1885 which later transferred to Chicago in 1892. Following the collapse of the Commercial Bank of Newfoundland and Union Bank of Newfoundland on December 10, 1894; the Bank of Nova Scotia established on December 15, 1894, in Newfoundland,[2]

In 1899, the bank opened a branch in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the meantime, the bank opened a branch in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1889 to facilitate the trading of sugar, rum and fish. This was Scotiabank's first move into the Caribbean and historically the first branch of a Canadian bank opened outside of the United States or the United Kingdom.[6][7] By the end of the 19th century, the bank was represented in all of the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

In 1900, the bank's headquarters were moved to Toronto, Ontario.[7]

The 20th century[edit]

William D. Lawrence (ship) carved into the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The bank continued to expand in the 20th century, although its growth now took the form of acquisitions rather than branch openings.

In its early expansion, the bank clearly followed trade and its customers' businesses rather than pursuing a strategy of expansion into international financial centres. Scotiabank is a member of the Global ATM Alliance, a joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers of the banks to use their ATM cards or check cards at certain other banks within the Global ATM Alliance without fees when traveling internationally. Other participating banks are Barclays (United Kingdom), Bank of America (United States), BNP Paribas (France and Ukraine through UkrSibbank), Deutsche Bank (Germany), and Westpac (Australia and New Zealand).[8]

Portfolio evolution[edit]

Throughout the 20th century, the bank grew not only in size, but also in breadth of products and services. Progress was conditioned by changing consumer needs, legal changes, or acquisitions of external service providers. A short list follows:[7]

Mergers and Acquisitions[edit]

The bank has amalgamated with several other Canadian financial institutions through the years, and purchased several other banks overseas:[4][9]

BankYear establishedYear of amalgamation
Union Bank of PEI
Summerside Bank
Bank of New Brunswick
Metropolitan Bank of Canada
The Bank of Ottawa
Montreal Trust
National Trust
Inverlat (Mexico)
1992 Scotiabank buys 5% stake
National Bank of Greece (Canada)
Banco Wiesse Sudameris (Peru)
Banco Intercontinental (Dominican Republic)
Banco Sudamericano (Peru)
1997 Scotiabank acquires 25% of Peru’s Banco Sudamericano
E*TRADE Canada

Many former branches of Montreal Trust and National Trust were rebranded "Scotiabank & Trust", and continue to operate as such.


David Berry $100M wrongful dismissal lawsuit[edit]

In June 2005, David Berry, a very successful Canadian Scotiabank trader who had built a $75M/yr business in trading preferred shares was fired on the grounds that he had committed securities regulatory violations.[10]

At the time, as part of a 20% direct drive deal, he was making more than double the CEO's salary and Scotiabank management had already taken steps to limit his compensation.[11]

The regulatory violation allegations from his former employer, left him unemployable to Scotia's competitors despite the appeal of potentially adding $75M/year+ to their equity trading profits.[11]

Documents delivered to the media showing that Scotia management had sought advice on terminating Berry prior to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) violation accusation, and the results of questioning during the IIROC inquiries strongly suggest that the securities charges were part of a clever plan by Scotiabank senior management to remove Berry from his position and simultaneously prevent him from becoming their competitor.[12]

In a ruling on January 15, 2013, more than seven years after the initial accusation, a hearing panel of the IIROC dismissed all charges against Berry.[13][14]

David Berry has a filed a $100M wrongful dismissal lawsuit against Scotiabank. The matter is ongoing. [15]

Operating units[edit]

Scotia Plaza, Scotiabank World Headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Scotiabank has four business lines: [16]

Canadian Banking comprises two main businesses:

  • Retail and Small Business Banking provides financial advice and solutions[PR slang] to individuals and small businesses, such as day-to-day banking products, including debit cards, deposit accounts, credit cards, investments, mortgages, loans, and related creditor insurance products.
  • Commercial Banking delivers advisory services and a full solutions[PR slang] suite to medium and large businesses including a broad array of lending, deposit and cash management solutions[PR slang].

Global Banking and Markets (GBM) is the wholesale banking and capital markets arm of the Bank. It offers an extensive number of products to corporate, government and institutional investor clients. GBM is a full-service lender and investment dealer in Canada and Mexico and offers a wide range of products in the U.S., Central and South America, and in select markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

GBM provides corporate lending, equity and debt underwriting, and mergers and acquisitions advisory services, as well as capital markets products and services, such as fixed income, derivatives, prime brokerage, securitization, foreign exchange, equity sales, trading and research, energy and agricultural commodities and, through ScotiaMocatta, precious and base metals.

Scotiabank's Global Wealth & Insurance (GWI) business line combines the Bank's wealth management and insurance operations in Canada and internationally, and Global Transaction Banking. GWI is diversified across multiple geographies, product lines and strong businesses.

Global Wealth is an integrated business including asset management and client-facing businesses.

  • The asset management business is focused on developing innovative investment solutions[PR slang] for both retail and institutional investors.
  • The global client-facing wealth business units include private client, online and full service brokerage, institutional client services and the independent advisor channel. Its focus is on providing advice and solutions[PR slang] for clients in Canada and internationally.

Global Insurance has four main businesses in Canada: creditor, life and health, home and auto and travel. Internationally, a full range of insurance products (creditor, non-creditor, life and health, and property) are sold to bank customers through a number of different Scotiabank channels.

Global Transaction Banking (GTB) is a virtual business offering comprehensive business solutions[PR slang] – cash management, payment services, electronic banking, business deposits, and trade services – on a global basis to the small business, commercial and corporate customers of the Bank. It also provides correspondent banking products and services to other financial institutions globally. The results of this unit are included in Canadian Banking, International Banking and Global Banking and Markets.

As of 2013, Scotiabank services over 21 million customers and has over $743 billion in assets. The bank employs over 83,416 employees all over the globe including: Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Scotiabank is Canada's most international bank with 3,338 branches and offices in some 55 countries.[20]

Corporate sponsorship and branding[edit]



Corporate Social Responsibility[edit]

The Scotiabank Bright Future program is the Bank's global philanthropic vision. The Bank's multinational reach has provided a unique opportunity to help people around the world through corporate giving and employee-volunteer programs that span across six pillars: education, healthcare, social services, arts and culture, sports and environment.

Over the last five years, the Bank has provided approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world. Scotiabank's employees spent more than 500,000 hours in 2012 volunteering and fundraising through formal community programs.

Scotiabank 's corporate social responsibility EcoLiving program, encourages and facilitates environmentally preferable construction and renovation of homes. The company also has internal programs related to environmental responsibility and ethical financial and lending practices.[26]

Recent events[edit]

Scotiabank has a strong presence in Thailand through its 49% owned affiliate Thanachart Bank. With the recent acquisition of Siam City Bank, Thanachart Bank is now the 5th largest bank in Thailand with over 16,000 staff serving almost 4 million customers through 680 branches and 2,100 ATMs across the country.



Scotiabank has unionized relationships with employees in a number of locations around the world.[45] In Canada, the sole unionized workplace is the domestic banking branch in Deep River, Ontario.

Credit agency ratings[edit]

On October 26, 2012, rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said it is reviewing the long-term ratings of the Bank of Nova Scotia because of concerns about consumer debt levels, housing prices, a sizable exposure to capital markets and more.[46]

Senior Debt Credit Ratings (April 30, 2013)
Standard & Poor’sA+Stable


BNS is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks. It is also a member of:


Branch and office locations[edit]




Bank of Nova Scotia. 1932. The Bank of Nova Scotia, 1832–1932. Halifax: Bank of Nova Scotia.

The Scotiabank Story: A History of the Bank of Nova Scotia, 1832–1982. by Joseph Schull

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mail Us". Scotiabank. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Pound, Richard W. (2005). Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. ISBN 978-1554550098. 
  3. ^ Toronto Star, May 3, 1904 p. 12.
  4. ^ a b "The Scotiabank Story". 2010. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  5. ^ "The World's Biggest Public Companies". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b – The Scotiabank Story accessed on July 23, 2008
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Bank of Nova Scotia – Company History, accessed on July 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Scotiabank – Global ATM Alliance", Accessed May 5, 2010.
  9. ^ Deborah C. Sawyer. "Bank of Nova Scotia Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ "In defence of David Berry". The National Post. 13 July 2005. 
  11. ^ a b "The Trader's Revenge". Toronto Life. 26 May 2008. 
  12. ^ "Scotiabank explored fallout of cutting star trader’s $15M pay months before he was fired, documents suggest". Financial Post. 19 Oct 2012. 
  13. ^ "IN THE MATTER OF David Berry – Discipline Decision". Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. 17 Jan 2013. 
  14. ^ "Former top Scotiabank trader cleared of allegations that led to his $100M wrongful dismissal lawsuit". Financial Post. 16 Jan 2013. 
  15. ^ "Former trader sues Bank of Nova Scotia". The Globe and Mail. 17 Jan 2013. 
  16. ^ "Corporate Profile | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Corporate Profile | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Corporate Profile | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Corporate Profile | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Corporate Profile | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Canada Running Series". Canada Running Series. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Official Bank of the NHL and NHLPA". Scotiabank. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Article 46(2) of the Collective Labour Agreement acknowledges that there will be strikes". Stabroek News. January 6, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  24. ^ "SCENE website". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  25. ^ Scotiabank Caribana Partnership Extension
  26. ^ "Corporate Responsibility | Scotiabank". Scotiabank. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Leftist rebels claim responsibility for Mexico City blasts; demand Oaxaca governor resign – iht,america,Mexico Explosions, 11th Ld-Writethru – Americas – International Herald". International Herald Tribune. March 29, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ [2][dead link]
  30. ^ Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business[dead link]
  31. ^ Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business[dead link]
  32. ^ Reuters, Accessed July 22, 2008
  33. ^ Scotiabank Press Release, Accessed July 23, 2008
  34. ^ Scotiabank talking to E*Trade on Caribbean, Reuters, November 12, 2008 5:40 pm EST
  35. ^ "National City Corp. – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  36. ^ Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer (November 16, 2008). "PNC-National City bank deal draws criticism |". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  37. ^ El Akkad, Omar (April 26, 2010). "Scotiabank fails in bid to snag Caribana domain name". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 9, 2010. "Scotiabank's unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the potentially lucrative website name became the basis for a case before the global tribunal that resolves such domain name disputes – a case that lawyers say could have set a wide-ranging and controversial precedent." 
  38. ^ Pasternak, Sean B. (December 6, 2010). "Scotiabank to Acquire Uruguay's Nuevo Banco Comercial, Pronto". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Scotiabank Confirms Purchase Of Uruguay Assets: No Terms". The Wall Street Journal. December 6, 2010. [dead link]
  40. ^ Pasternak, Sean (October 20, 2011). "Scotiabank Buys Colpatria in Biggest International Purchase". Bloomberg Markets. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Scotiabank to buy ING Bank of Canada for $3.13 billion in cash". The Canadian Press. 
  42. ^ "ING completes sale of ING Direct Canada". Reuters. 
  43. ^ "Advocate". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  44. ^ "The Banker Awards 2012 - Global and regional winners". Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  45. ^ "T43536-CSR05_1-10" (PDF). Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  46. ^
  47. ^ "". Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  48. ^

External links[edit]