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Scotiabank Jamaica's headquarters in downtown Kingston, Jamaica.

Scotiabank Jamaica profits soar as loan portfolio grows

Scotiabank Jamaica's headquarters in downtown Kingston, Jamaica.

Scotia Group Jamaica reported net profit of J$13.19 billion, as its loan portfolio saw double digit percentage increase, for the year ended October 31, 2019.

The Group’s profits increased by J$419 million, or 3.28 per cent, over the corresponding period of the previous year, even as operating expenses increased J$2.10 billion, the company said yesterday.

Scotiabank’s loan portfolio jumped to $205.63 billion, $23.02 billion more or an uptick of 12.61 per cent, over than last year.

“We continue to advance our digital banking agenda with continued investment in technology…during the fiscal year we rolled out new ATMs and introduced Intelligent Deposit Machines which offer customers immediate access to their deposits.”

– Scotiabank Jamaica President and CEO, David Noel

For his part, President and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica, David Noel, said “Our core businesses have performed well this year as we remain focused on executing our strategic objectives – accelerating growth and investing for the future.”

Total operating expenses amounted to $24.10 billion, an increase of 9.54 per cent, over the previous year. The rise was due to partly to increased salaries and staff benefit costs, which went up by $697 million due to larger incentives to the company’s sales team, which contributed to the growth of the company’s loan portfolio.

Scotiabank Jamaica’s headquarter in Downtown, Kingston. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

Additionally, a total of $1.37 billion was spent on other operating expenses related to the company’s increased technology investment. These investments were made in the areas of automated teller machine (ATM) software, online banking enhancements and security chips for credit cards the company said.

“We continue to advance our digital banking agenda with continued investment in technology,” Noel said, adding that “during the fiscal year we rolled out new ATMs and introduced Intelligent Deposit Machines which offer customers immediate access to their deposits.”

Scotiabank President and CEO, David Noel.

An increase of $45 million was paid over for asset tax, which amounted to $1.13 billion or 4.14 per cent more than last year, as a result of the Group’s increased assets.

Another highlight of its performance is improved deposits by the public which ended at $312.97 billion for the review period. This figure represents growth of $25.02 billion in core deposits from “higher inflows from our retail and commercial customers, signalling continued confidence in the strength of the Group,” the statement said.

Scotiabank marked its 130th year of operations in Jamaica this year.