In a major move that is likely to shakeup the banking landscape in Guyana and across the Caribbean, Scotiabank’s headquarters in Toronto has announced that the bank will be selling out its banking operations in Guyana and eight other Caribbean countries to Republic Holdings Limited, which owns Republic Bank.
According to a report from the Reuters news agency, Scotia plans to sell its banking operations in Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten and St Vincent & the Grenadines to Republic Financial Holdings. However, for its operations in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, the bank intends to refocus its business in the region by selling its insurance operations in those two countries to Sagicor Financial Corporation.
According to Reuters, the Bank of Nova Scotia today reported fourth-quarter earnings, which were marginally below expectations and said it planned to exit nine countries in the Caribbean as part of a shake-up of that business.
The bank, has been in operations in the Caribbean since 1889.
The transactions will be subject to regulatory approvals, according to Scotiabank.
For the full year, Scotiabank reported a 7 percent increase in earnings at its Canadian business to CND$4.4 billion, helped by improved margins as it benefited from five Bank of Canada rate hikes since last summer and growth in customer deposits.
The bank’s international business increased earnings by 18 percent during the year, driven by growth in the Pacific Alliance trading bloc which comprises Peru, Mexico, Chile and Columbia and accounts for around a quarter of its revenues.
Scotiabank is the first of Canada’s major banks to report fourth-quarter earnings.