Jamaica group posts 11.5% rise on the same period last year
Scotia Group Jamaica is reporting net income of J$4.5 billion for the six months ended April 30, 2021, up $463 million or 11.5 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.
This was achieved as the group continued to execute well on its customer-first strategy with increased collaboration among our business lines to meet the financial services needs of our customers.
Today, the board of directors approved an interim dividend of 35 cents per stock unit in respect of the second quarter, which is payable on July 21, 2021, to stockholders on record as at June 29, 2021.
Audrey Tugwell Henry, President and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica noted, “We are proud to report an increase in net profit for the six months period of 11.5 per cent notwithstanding the very challenging macroeconomic circumstances. In our 131 year history, the bank has supported Jamaicans through many arduous periods and has an unmatched legacy of delivering value and providing the right solutions to our customers. The group maintains a very strong capital base, adequate liquidity levels and remains a financial fortress in the local industry.
“Our customers continue to place their trust in us and this was demonstrated by the 11 per cent growth in our deposit portfolio. Of note, Assets Under Management increased by eight per cent year-on-year signalling continued confidence in the group. “
Other noteworthy highlights within the group’s performance included another quarter of solid growth in mortgages with an 11 per cent increase year-on-year. Scotia Group has maintained several quarters of consistent growth in its mortgage portfolio, even during the heights of economic fallout due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a function of market demand as well as the bank’s attractive rates and simplified processes. The group says it will continue to prioritise this portfolio as home ownership remains one of our customers’ top financial goals.
During the quarter, Scotia Group Jamaica continued to build momentum in its capital markets business recently acting as lead arranger and co-broker to successfully raise J$3 billion by way of a private bond placement for a major client. This deal marks its continued commitment to deliver unique value for clients that is both meaningful and sustainable.
Scotia Group Jamaica sees tremendous opportunities in this area by providing solutions that will create capacity for reinvestment and growth as the economy begins to recover.
Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Co. Ltd. increased gross premiums written by eight per cent year-on-year, as we help customers to plan for the future. Insurance is an important area of focus for the business as the market remains highly underinsured and one of the lessons the pandemic has underscored is the need for protection against unforeseen circumstances.
The group continued to advance its customer-first strategy which is underpinned by investments in technology to improve customer experience. It continued to enhance its digital offering with upgrades to online and mobile channels to make everyday banking more convenient and safer for customers.
It notes that customers continue to embrace its award-winning digital platforms which offer the benefit of convenience and safety in light of the pandemic. Branch transactions now represent just 4.6 per cent of total transactions processed, while electronic channels account for 95.4 per cent. One significant new feature introduced within the quarter was the online account opening process which Scotia Group launched in mid-March.
Existing personal banking customers can now open an additional bank account in under 5 minutes using online or mobile banking platforms – with no need to visit a branch. Close to 15,000 customers have opened new accounts using one of Scotiabank Jamaica’s online channels since the launch.
Scotiabank Vision Achiever, its transformational business coaching programme offered in collaboration with internationally renowned business coaches, Action Coach was launched in March. Now in its tenth year, this 17-week programme continues to deliver exceptional value for participants.
Approximately 275 business customers have completed the course over the life of the programme and through it, the bank has invested over $30 million in support of the growth and development of the Jamaican small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. The course was modified last year to a virtual format and incorporates strategies to assist businesses to withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.
“As we strive to be the bank for every future, we have placed even greater emphasis on financial education and leveraging the expertise of our team to assist customers in managing their finances. Several, free online seminars were hosted in Q2 covering topical matters including; homeownership, retirement planning, investment planning and growth opportunities in the business landscape.”
“We continue to cultivate a high-performance team and invest in our staff. Scotia LinkedIn Learning and Scotia Academy are two platforms which staff members can access for ongoing personal and career development. Various employee wellness initiatives have also been introduced to ensure that we support our very dedicated team who give of their best to assist our customers daily.
“In Q3, we will continue our customer-first focus by making further enhancements to improve customer experience, engagement and support. Further upgrades will be made to our current network of 279 ABMs, and additional intelligent deposit machines will be deployed over the next few months. Digital banking will continue to be at the forefront of our business as technology continues to redefine the status quo. We are optimistic as the economy continues to show signs of recovery and stand ready to support our customers as they rebound and pursue new growth opportunities.”
“As we close a successful first half of the year, I would like to thank our customers for their continued trust in the Group. This is due to the excellent service delivered by our dedicated team of Scotiabankers which I am proud to lead. I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their guidance during these unprecedented times and I would like to thank our shareholders and staff for their commitment and confidence,” read a Scotia Group Jamaica issued statement.