New Scotiabank CEO says to drive international growth

Fri May 31, 2013 1:51pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Brian Porter, who will take over as Bank of Nova Scotia's (BNS.TO: Quote) chief executive in November, said on Friday he plans to continue the bank's growth in Latin America and Asia, while looking for opportunities to boost its Canadian credit card business.

"We've got a number of strategic initiatives in Canada ... and we'll look at acquisitions selectively as they come about," he told Reuters, shortly after being announced on Friday as the replacement for current CEO Rick Waugh.

Porter's accession had been widely expected after he was named to the post of president last year, following a stint as the head of the Canadian bank's international division, the bank's highest-profile unit.

Scotiabank, Canada's No. 3 lender, has operations in about 55 countries worldwide, predominantly in Latin America, but also with a growing footprint in Asia and a smaller wholesale banking operation in the United States.

Porter, 55, said he had no geographical bias on where he planned to drive growth, but said the bank was unlikely to push into markets where it's not already active.

"We're not going to Europe, we're not going to Africa. We have lots of opportunity within our existing footprint," he said.

Within Canada, he said he saw potential to expand the bank's credit card business.

Porter's promotion follows rival Toronto-Dominion Bank's (TD.TO: Quote) announcement last month that its U.S. bank head, Bharat Masrani, will replace current CEO Ed Clark next year.   Continued...