Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ) 11th Annual General Meeting was held today, at the Pegasus Hotel. Opening remarks were made by Mr. Jeffrey Hall, SGJ’s Chairman where he officially welcomed Mr. David Noel as Scotia’s newly appointed President and CEO and emphasized how the general improvement of the Jamaican economy has led to the company’s overall success.
As technology proves to be a driving force within the banking sector, Mr. Hall stated that the Scotia Group has been actively pursuing the development of products and services that will continue to make their customer experience better. He was pleased to note that as the digital engagement becomes increasingly important, the trend in online and mobile banking adoption has accelerated. He further announced that the Scotia Group, has once again been awarded as the 2017 World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank by Global Finance. In addition he also highlighted that Scotia was also awarded the Best Commercial Banking Capabilities within the Caribbean to which they are extremely pleased as this reflects their commitment to business across the Caribbean region.
As Scotia continues to review and consolidate their core products, they transferred 100% ownership of Scotia Jamaica Banking and Finance Company Limited to Lasco Financial Services Limited. This according to the Chairman, “was in line with their continued focus on service excellence in the full range of core, commercial and retail and investment banking products.” In addition, Scotia Investment Jamaica Limited was also privatised as they cancelled all shares held by all minority shareholders. This move, according to Mr. Hall, “allows Scotia Investment to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited which improves which will improve efficiency.”
The meeting was then handed over to Mr. Noel, where he addressed shareholders for the first time as Scotia’s new President and CEO. He pointed out some of the financial highlights for 2017 financial year attributing success to the broad revenue growth, prudent risk management, and improvements in operating efficiency to curtail expense growth. A recap was also provided for the first quarter of the financial where Mr. Noel indicated:
- Net income for the quarter totalled $3.41 billion (2017: $2.21 billion), he also noted this, “increase reflected the sale of the Micro Finance business along with the overall good performance for the group.”
- Earnings per share for the quarter was $1.10 (2017: $0.70)
- Return on equity was 13.17% (2017: 9.45%)
- Dividend per share of $0.48 (2017: $0.45)
- Productivity ratio was 54.92% (2017: 59.21%). He stated assets tax was paid in Q1 and without this “result would be better”.
Mr. Noel highlighted that the positive trajectory of Jamaica’s economy points to a period of sustainable growth for Scotia Group Jamaica Limited as they aim to take advantage of this opportunity. He highlighted the main concern faced amongst their customers, the Banking fees and provided steps on how the group plans to resolve such concerns. He emphasized that Scotia is currently:
- Reviewing some of their fees .
- Helping customers choose the right account in order to minimize fees.
- Providing significant education push to ensure customers learn how to bank online which provides a cheaper and safer alternative.
Notably, the President and CEO highlighted that Scotia’s investment in digital banking has reaped rewards as last year they saw an 11% increase in online customers, 21% increase in mobile customers, 9% increase in digital transactions and a 48% increase in mobile transactions. In fact, he noted that branch transactions have declined 16%, while online transactions increased 19% of overall transactions. The Scotia digital highlights for 2017 are stated below:
- Right time payments; credit card payments made online are reflected immediately
- SGJ is first and only bank to offer mobile top up
- Electronic statements online
- Complaint management system
- Digital sales
- Branch Wi-Fi
Mr. Noel also highlighted Scotia is poised for significant growth along with significant expansion as a result of their strategy. He outlined their as follows:
- Customer focus
- Digital transformation
- Structural Cost and expense managing
In closing, Scotia’s future Outlook for the 2018 financial year was provided by the CEO.
- Launch of Intelligent Deposit Machines- clearing cheque deposits instantly
- Significant investment in the redesigning of their Branches -to providing an effective environment for customer advice.
- The Pulse – receive feedback from customers so their team can take immediate action in resolving issues.
Analyst Certification -The views expressed in this research report accurately reflect the personal views of Mayberry Investments Limited Research Department about those issuer (s) or securities as at the date of this report. Each research analyst (s) also certify that no part of their compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendation (s) or view (s) expressed by that research analyst in this research report.
Company Disclosure -The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. You are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Mayberry may effect transactions or have positions in securities mentioned herein. In addition, employees of Mayberry may have positions and effect transactions in the securities mentioned herein.