Black Immigrant Daily News
Scotia Group Jamaica is ramping up its digital infrastructure to continue supporting retail and business clients and those to whom it will offer general insurance products through its now operational subsidiary, Scotia General Insurance Agency (SGIA).
Group CEO Audrey Tugwell Henry said the move to leverage digital technology underpins its “customer first strategy”.
Tugwell Henry said clients have begun accessing SGIA’s products via the bank’s digital platform since its launch last month.
“It’s a small team because the product is being sold through our digital platform. Like other areas of the bank, we are focussed on optimising efficiencies,” she said.
The Scotia CEO noted that the general insurance business will be integrated as one of its service offerings to customers.
“It’s an ongoing business, not an event. We will continue the same way as we offer our products to customers,” Tugwell Henry said, adding that clients, whether they take a mortgage or car loan, will have SGIA as an option to cover their assets.
Gary-Vaughn White, Senior Vice President, Treasury at Scotia Group, will strategically direct SGIA, and Perrin Gayle, Head of Retail Banking and Small Business, will support the sales from SGIA through the branch network.
An official launch of SGIA will take place next year.
Tugwell Henry also announced that the bank would soon roll out upgrades to its online banking platform upgrades, having already added a channel to enable customers to access new credit cards and Scotia Plan Loan offers.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to share the biggest thing that will be coming, obviously for competitive reasons. But we will be launching a new way that customers can engage with their personal bankers in the new calendar year,” Tugell Henry told a virtual media briefing on Monday.
Notwithstanding its digital thrust, Tugwell Henry said the bank has no specific plans to eliminate additional full-service branches across the island in the financial year.
“We have designed our retail banking network to reflect the demand in the areas where we do business,” Tugwell said about its 11 digital branches, which have been reporting high customer satisfaction”.
Tugwell Henry disclosed that customers have signalled their preference for online and electronic channels, with online transactions increasing by 50 per cent year-over-year and digital transactions, which now represent the largest category and account for 39 per cent of total transactions.
Scotia’s advancements in digital transformation were recently acknowledged by Global Finance Magazine, which named Scotiabank Jamaica as the Best Consumer Digital Bank for 2022.
‘We are extremely proud of our achievements, and we are committed to continuous improvements in our business as we strive to become the bank for every future,” the company said.
Scotia is also reporting strong financial performance for the year ending October 2022.
It recorded net income of $11.7 billion for the year ended October 31, 2022, representing an increase of $3 billion or 35.2 per cent over the previous year.
“Our strong performance in 2022, reflects the resilience of our organisation, exemplary execution of our customer-focused strategy, our investments in digital transformation as well as increased coordination across the business,” Tugwell Henry said.
All business lines have delivered commendable results, she noted.
The group’s asset base grew by $10 billion to $595.6 billion as at October 2022 as a result of the growth in its loan portfolio of $29.3 billion or 14 per cent and our investment portfolio of $7.3 billion due to increased deposits.