Canada's Scotiabank has muscle to make acquisitions -CEO

Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:44am EDT
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CALGARY, April 12 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada's third largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday it has the financial muscle to make acquisitions to supplement organic growth if opportunities arise that fit its strategic objectives.

Scotiabank, which already has the biggest international footprint among Canada's major banks, has indicated it would like to expand its presence in Latin America.

"We are in a very good position to grow the bank organically, and we have the balance sheet strength to selectively pursue acquisitions that are on strategy and within our footprint," Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter told the bank's annual meeting.

Scotiabank's international operations contributed a record C$505 million to net income in the first quarter, reflecting strong performances in the Pacific Alliance region.

Porter also told the meeting the bank was responding to changing consumer behavior by redesigning its branches and focusing on new digital technologies.

Bank customers around the world are doing more transactions online and fewer in branches. Porter said Scotiabank expects that less than 10 percent of financial transactions will occur in its branch network by 2020, with more than one-half of its products being sold through digital channels. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)