General Insurance product Scotia Protect sees the coming together of two legendary companies that have operated in Jamaica for over a century, namely Scotia Bank and GraceKennedy.
At an elegant launch, held at The Sunken Gardens at Hope Gardens in St Andrew, Scotia Group Jamaica CEO Audrey Tugwell-Henry spoke of how the digital age is redefining financial services but Scotia Group’s key areas of distinction endure despite the passage of time and changing habits and technologies.
Below is her full address:
This year, Scotiabank celebrates 134 years of operation in Jamaica.
In fact, many of you may be surprised to know that Scotiabank Jamaica is actually older than our operations in Toronto where our global bank is headquartered and we operated in Jamaica long before we had a Central Bank.
Over the years, we have evolved our operations to an integrated Financial Services Group – Scotia Group Jamaica Limited. Currently, in our subsidiaries, we offer Personal Insurance, Wealth Management, Investments, Retail and Commercial Banking. We have an extensive reach right across Jamaica. We serve approximately 700,000 customers across 28 branches, supported by 280 ABMs, our 24X7 Customer Contact Centre, AND our world class Scotia Online Banking and Mobile Banking Application.
And so today, I am so proud to be standing here before you to introduce our newest subsidiary – The Scotia General Insurance Agency which will operate under the brand name Scotia Protect. This marks another important milestone in our company’s rich history.
I am also pleased to announce that the products offered by Scotia General Insurance Agency will be in partnership with GraceKennedy as GK General Insurance will serve as the underwriters for all ScotiaProtect products.
Our new subsidiary our new Subsidiary, Scotia General Insurance Agency, underscores our commitment to Jamaica to deliver the very best financial services. We intend to distinguish ourselves in three key areas:
Expertise, Partnership and People
Our legacy in financial services remains unmatched in Jamaica. We intend to leverage all our expertise in risk management, operations and especially digital product delivery to ensure an excellent experience for all our clients.
The incorporation of a digital business model is a critical component of our strategy as we have seen a clear preference from our customers to transact digitally. At Scotiabank, our online and digital platforms continue to be our fastest growing channels. To give further context, I will share our experience with online deposit account opening. Within the first month after launching the feature, 3,339 accounts were opened using the Scotia Mobile Application. Just one year after launch, almost 50 per cent of total accounts opened monthly, are done via our Mobile App. The trends are clear, and, on that basis, we have adopted a methodology of continuous innovation to ensure that we maintain our leadership position in this area.
Our investment and performance in digital technology have earned international recognition with Scotiabank Jamaica recently being named Best Consumer Digital Bank for 2022 by Global Finance magazine.
We have taken all the learning from our digital platforms in the Bank, and we have built a robust, efficient, user-friendly platform for Scotia Protect which will offer a seamless experience for our customers.
Our second key differentiator is Partnership.
We have created a formidable partnership with GraceKennedy as GK General Insurance will serve as the underwriters for all ScotiaProtect products. The
GraceKennedy brand is another powerhouse in the Jamaican landscape with shared values of integrity and trust and this partnership signals to the public that they are getting the very best the industry has to offer.
Our long-time neighbours in downtown Kingston, we consider GraceKennedy to be one of Jamaica’s most distinguished companies and an ideal partner for us as we enter the general insurance industry.
This partnership will create significant benefits for both companies but more importantly for our customers through the products, services and experience that Scotia Protect will offer.
Our third area of distinction is our people and the strong team we have built at SGIA headed by Gary-Vaughn White.
A MAN OF EXCEPTIONAL TALENT
Gary stepped the into the role of senior vice president, Collateral Protection with responsibility for the Caribbean, Central America, and Uruguay on January 2 of this year.
He is a man of exceptional talent and experience who has made an impact in his previous senior roles including as Vice President of Treasury and Foreign Exchange. He is well supported by Kuyan Wright, our Senior Manager for SGIA.
Gary will speak more about the general insurance landscape, however before I hand over to him, I want to end by saying that we are optimistic for the future. We are happy that the effects of the pandemic are largely behind us and we look forward to playing our role in supporting the growth and development of the Jamaican economy.
As we go forward, with a new addition to our Scotia Group, we reaffirm our commitment to our many stakeholders including our employees, customers, communities and shareholders.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone here who helped to bring SGIA to fruition. I have no doubt that this company will be create value for our customers.
Thank you as well to our friends and colleagues in the industry who are here tonight to give support – our regulators and of course our partners at GraceKennedy.
I also want to publicly thank my team of outstanding Scotiabankers – my winning team – for giving of your best to our customers every day.
And to our customers here this evening, thank you again for being here. Thank you for continuing to choose Scotia Group. We consider it our privilege to be your financial partner and you have our commitment to continue to invest and to innovate and to be the best financial partner – for every future!
– Audrey Tugwell-Henry is Scotia Group Jamaica CEO