T&T is an important part of Scotiabank's Caribbean and international network as the bank aims to remain a credible leader in the global financial services sector, Dieter Jentsch, group head of international banking, said on Tuesday night.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the bank's 60th anniversary in T&T at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, Jentsch said Scotiabank had a strong international presence which included a diversified network of more than 85,000 employees in more than 55 countries, serving over 20 million customers around the world.
He said the fact that T&T was ranked as one of the highest Caribbean countries in the 2014 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report was testament of this country's strength of investor protections, sound banking system and focus on higher education training.
"For us, T&T plays a key role even beyond its borders, operating a processing hub to service numerous countries in our Caribbean footprint. The establishment of the Operations and Shared Services Company Ltd (OSSCL) is one of the great examples of the on-going partnership between Scotiabank and the Government of T&T and numerous related agencies–Board of Inland Revenue, the Central Bank, T&T International Financial Centre and T&T Free Zone Company. Together, we have created a new business process outsourcing industry, which utilises the strength of this country, it people," he said.
"Our international footprint is unmatched by any other Canadian bank and the Caribbean has been a major contributor to our expansion over the years. Scotiabank has a long history in the Caribbean, opening our first branch in the region in 1889–eight years before we even opened our first branch in Toronto.
"We were actually the first Canadian bank to establish a branch in the West Indies, recognising advances in economic, political and social conditions in the region. In the early 50's when it began to look like there might be a federation of the British West Indies established, Scotiabank expanded further into the region."
Anya Schnoor, managing director of Scotiabank T&T, said what made the bank unique was its ability to combine local expertise and global knowledge gained from being part of one of the best banks in the world.She said this had allowed the bank over the past 60 years to help customers acquire their first home, dream car, open small businesses and even save for their children's education.
"It was because of these relationships and our more than 200,000 customers that Scotiabank has been able to achieve this milestone. The strength of any financial institution is not only about the size of its balance sheet or its strong capital ratios, it is also about the confidence you have in your financial partner and the strength of each relationship.
"Our core purpose at Scotiabank it to make you financially better off and we remain committed to this promise. Scotiabank has a deep relationship with its customers and cares about their financial future."
Schnoor added: "You don't operate in 21 countries in the region for over 125 years of continuous service without building a solid reputation of trust and security. For Scotiabank here in T&T, this birthday signifies many things, firstly, our commitment to the growth and development of this country and indeed the wider Caribbean region.
"We have consistently been at the forefront of opening up the banking system to persons and regions of the country previously underserved. We were the first bank in 1963 to offer consumer loans�Scotia Plan Plus as they were popularly called�to the wider public thereby allowing access to financing for a developing nation."