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Bank of Nova Scotia
Trade name
Traded as TSXBNS
S&P/TSX 60 component
Founded March 30, 1832; 192 years ago (1832-03-30)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Headquarters Scotiabank North, 40 Temperance Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people
  • L. Scott Thomson (president and CEO)
  • Raj Viswanathan (CFO)
Revenue Increase CA$32.31 billion (2023)
Decrease CA$7.53 billion (2023)
AUM Increase CA$317.00 billion (2023)
Total assets Increase CA$1.41 trillion (2023)
Total equity Increase CA$78.67 billion (2023)
Number of employees
89,488 (2023)
Subsidiaries Tangerine Bank
Banque Scotia (logo, 2019)
Banque Scotia logo, used for francophone Scotiabank customers in Canada

The Bank of Nova Scotia (French: Banque de Nouvelle-Écosse), operating as Scotiabank (French: Banque Scotia), is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. One of Canada's Big Five banks, it is the third-largest Canadian bank by deposits and market capitalization. In 2023, the company’s seat in Forbes Global 2000 was 88. It serves more than 25 million customers around the world and offers a range of products and services including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, corporate and investment banking. With more than 92,001 employees and assets of Can$1,136 billion (according to 2020 annual report), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSXBNS) and New York (NYSEBNS) exchanges. The Scotiabank swift code is NOSCCATT and the institution number is 002.

Scotiabank was founded in 1832 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where it was headquartered until relocating to Toronto in 1900. Scotiabank has billed itself as "Canada's most international bank" due to its acquisitions primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean, and also in Europe and parts of Asia. Scotiabank is a member of the London Bullion Market Association and one of fifteen accredited institutions which participate in the London gold fixing. From 1997 to 2019, this was conducted through its precious metals division ScotiaMocatta.

Scotiabank's president and CEO Brian J. Porter announced his retirement to be effective January 31, 2023, and Scott Thompson was named as his replacement.


19th century

William Lawson by Robert Field
William Lawson served as the first president of the Bank of Nova Scotia, from 1832 to 1837.

The Bank of Nova Scotia was founded in 1832 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a British colony at that time. The bank was incorporated by the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia on March 30, 1832. William Lawson was the first president. The bank intended to facilitate the trans-Atlantic trade of the time. Later, in 1883, the Bank of Nova Scotia acquired the Union Bank of Prince Edward Island, although most of the bank's expansion efforts in the century took the form of branch openings.

The bank launched its branch banking system by opening in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The expansion was limited to the Maritimes until 1882, when the bank moved west by opening a branch in Winnipeg, which later closed, but the bank continued to expand into the American Midwest. This included opening a branch in Minneapolis in 1885, which later transferred to Chicago in 1892. Following the collapse of the Commercial Bank of Newfoundland and Union Bank of Newfoundland on December 10, 1894, the Bank of Nova Scotia established on December 15, 1894, in Newfoundland.

The bank opened a branch in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1889 to facilitate the trading of sugar, rum, and fish. This was Scotiabank's first move into the Caribbean and historically the first branch of a Canadian bank to open outside of the United States or the United Kingdom. In 1899, Scotiabank opened a branch in Boston, Massachusetts. By the end of the 19th century, the bank was represented in all of the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. In 1900, the bank moved its headquarters to Toronto, Ontario.

20th century

Bank of New Brunswick Building 2
The Bank of New Brunswick building in Saint John. The Bank of New Brunswick was acquired by the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1913.

The bank continued to grow with the opening of new branches in the early 20th century. In 1906, the Bank of Nova Scotia opened a branch in Havana, Cuba, followed by a branch in New York City in the following year. In 1910, the bank opened a branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bank also grew with the merger and acquisition of other banks, including the Bank of New Brunswick in 1913, and the Toronto-based Metropolitan Bank in 1914. The acquisition of Metropolitan Bank made the Bank of Nova Scotia the fourth largest financial institution in Canada at that time. In 1919, the bank amalgamated with the Bank of Ottawa.

In 1919, the bank opened a branch in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. In the following year, the bank opened a branch in London, and another in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The bank also saw growth in Cuba, with five branches in Havana, and one branch each in Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Manzanillo, and Santiago de Cuba by 1931.

During the mid-20th century, the bank grew not only in size but also in breadth of products and services. Progress was conditioned by changing consumer needs, legal changes, or acquisitions of external service providers. Major changes include: Following the passage of the National Housing Act, the Bank of Nova Scotia created a mortgage department in 1954. Further changes to the Bank Act of 1954 in 1958 led to the bank introducing its consumer credit program.

The bank's branches in Cuba continued to operate until 1960, when the Government of Cuba nationalized all banks in Cuba, and the Bank of Nova Scotia withdrew its services from all eight branches. During the 1960s, the Bank of Nova Scotia became the first Canadian bank to appoint women as bank managers, with the first appointed on September 11, 1961. In the next year, the bank expanded into Asia with the opening of a Representative Office in Japan.

In 1975, the Bank of Nova Scotia adopted Scotiabank as its worldwide brand name. On September 28, 1978, Scotiabank and Canadian Union of Public Employees signed a collective agreement in Toronto, making Scotiabank the first Canadian bank to sign a collective agreement with a union.

In 1986, Scotiabank created Scotia Securities to provide discount brokerage and security underwriting services. The late 1980s and 1990s saw the bank acquire several firms, including McLeod Young Weir Ltd brokerage firm (co-founded by Donald Ivan McLeod, William Ewart Young, James Gordon Weir and John Henry (Harry) Ratcliffe in 1921) in 1988, and Montreal Trustco Inc. in 1994. In 1997, the bank acquired National Trust Company for Can$1.25 billion. In the same year, Scotiabank acquired Banco Quilmes in Argentina.

21st century

In 2000, Scotiabank increased its stake in Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Inverlat to 55 percent. The Mexican bank was subsequently renamed to Grupo Financiero Scotiabank Inverlat. Scotiabank later acquired Inverlat banking house in 2003, taking over all of its branches and establishing a strong presence in the country.

In 2002, Scotiabank shut its branches (formerly Banco Quilmes) in Argentina during the currency crisis and massive sovereign default. In the following year, Scotiabank's Guangzhou branch was awarded the first licence to a Canadian bank by the Chinese government to deal in Chinese currency. In 2007, Scotiabank acquired a 24.98 per cent stake in Thanachart Bank, with that share later increasing to 48.99 per cent by December 2014. With the acquisition of Siam City Bank, Thanachart Bank is now the 6th largest bank (by assets) in Thailand with over 16,000 staff serving more than four million customers through 680 branches and 2,100 ATMs across the country.

In 2010, the bank opened its first offices in Bogotá, Colombia. On October 20, 2011, Scotiabank acquired a 51 per cent stake in Colpatria [es], Colombia's fifth largest bank and second largest issuer of credit cards, for $1 billion Canadian in cash and stock (10 million shares). It is the second largest foreign transaction ever by a Canadian financial company overseas, behind Royal Bank of Canada's purchase in Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Tangerine Bank cafe on Yonge Street
A Tangerine "cafe" in Toronto. Tangerine is a subsidiary of Scotiabank that was acquired in 2012.

In 2012, Scotiabank entered into an agreement to acquire ING Direct Bank of Canada from ING Groep N.V. Two years later, Scotiabank would acquire ING Direct Bank of Canada for Can$3.13 billion. The sale completed on November 15, 2012, and ING Bank of Canada was later renamed Tangerine in April 2014.

As a result of the FATCA agreement between Canada and the United States, signed between the two countries in 2014, Scotiabank has also spent almost $100 million implementing a controversial system to report to the United States the account holdings of close to one million Canadians of American origin and their Canadian-born spouses. Scotiabank has been forced to implement this system in order to comply with FATCA. According to Financial Post, FATCA requires Canadian banks to provide information to the United States including total assets, account balances, account numbers, transactions, account numbers, and other personal identifying information, as well as assets held jointly with Canadian-born spouses and other family members.

On July 14, 2015, Scotiabank announced that it would buy Citigroup's retail and commercial banking operations in Panama and Costa Rica. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The purchase would increase Scotiabank's client base in both countries from 137,000 to 387,000, and would add 27 branches to the existing 51 branches in both Central American nations.

Scotiabank's former President, CEO and Chairman Cedric Ritchie died on March 20, 2016. He was a President of Scotiabank from 1972, and CEO and Chairman from 1974 to 1995. Under his leadership, Scotiabank expanded into more than 40 countries and grew to 33,000 employees.

In 2017, Scotiabank join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

In 2018, Scotiabank acquired Montreal investment firm Jarislowsky Fraser, also in 2018 Scotiabank completed the acquisition of a 68.19 per cent stake in BBVA Chile for Can$2.9 billion, as a result BBVA Chile was merged into Scotiabank Chile. On February 21, 2019, the Prosecutor in the Central American country of Costa Rica raided Scotiabank's offices in San José, Costa Rica, claiming that the bank had failed to provide the government with information on accounts and deposits that could allegedly implicate Alejandro Toledo, the former president of Peru, in money laundering. Later that year, in June 2019 it was announced that OFG Bancorp would acquire all branches of Scotiabank within Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands territories as part of a $550 million cash deal.

In 2019, Scotiabank underwent a rebranding, modifying its wordmark logo and introducing a new corporate font based on its design, downplaying the company's S and globe monogram, and increasing use of the abbreviated name "Scotia".

On February 14, 2024, Chief Executive Officer and Group Head, Global Banking and Markets Jake Lawrence left the bank after 22 years and joined the Power Corporation of Canada. His responsibilities are shared between Paul Scurfield to Global Head, Capital Markets, Global Banking and Markets, and Michael Kruse, acting as Interim Global Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Banking and Markets.

In February 2024, Bank of Nova Scotia announced the creation of first indigenous-owned investment dealer in Canada. Cedar Leaf Capital is a partnership between two indigenous development corporations and one indigenous peoples corporation. Each side owns 23.3% of the shares and Scotiabank controls the rest. At the same time, the bank will reduce its share once Cedar Leaf Capital has established its production. This initiative will facilitate access by aboriginal people (5% of Canada’s 40 million people) to investment and infrastructure development.

Acquisitions and mergers

The bank has amalgamated with several other Canadian financial institutions through the years and purchased several other banks overseas. Most have been rebranded since their acquisition, although a few continue to utilize their former names. Several branches of the former Montreal Trust and National Trust were rebranded Scotiabank & Trust, and continue to operate as such.

The Bank of Ottawa, Cobalt, Ontario (22969692376)
A Bank of Ottawa branch in Cobalt. The bank was acquired by the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1919.
R-G building in San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Headquarters for R & G Financial in San Juan, 2006. R & G was later acquired by Scotiabank in 2010.
List of banks merged with or acquired by Scotiabank
Bank Year established Year of amalgamation
Canada Union Bank of PEI 1860 1883
Canada Summerside Bank 1866 1901
Canada Bank of New Brunswick 1820 1913
Canada Metropolitan Bank of Canada 1902 1914
Canada Bank of Ottawa 1874 1919
Canada Montreal Trust Company 1889 1994
Canada National Trust Company 1898 1997
United Kingdom Mocatta Bullion 1684 1997, Scotiabank acquires Mocatta Bullion from Standard Chartered
Mexico Inverlat 1991 1992, Scotiabank acquires 5% stake
Canada National Bank of Greece (Canada) 1982 2005
Peru Banco Wiesse Sudameris 1920 2006
Dominican Republic Banco Intercontinental 1986 2003
Peru Banco Sudamericano 1991 1997, Scotiabank acquires 25% of Peru's Banco Sudamericano
Canada E-Trade Canada 1982 2008
Canada DundeeWealth 1998 2010
United States R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico 1966 2010
Uruguay Nuevo Banco Comercial 2003 2011
Canada ING Direct Canada 1997 2012, rebranded to Tangerine in 2013
Colombia Banco Colpatria 1955 2012, Scotiabank acquires 51% of the stakes in Banco Colpatria
Uruguay Discount Bank 2015, Scotiabank acquires Discount Bank Uruguay
Canada Canadian Tire Bank 2003 2014, Scotiabank acquires 20% stake
Canada Jarislowsky Fraser 1955 2018
Canada MD Financial Management 1957 2018
Chile BBVA Chile 1883 2018, Scotiabank acquires 68.19% stake

Operating units

Scotiabank has four business lines:

  • Canadian Banking provides financial advice and banking to personal and business customers across Canada. Scotiabank also provides an alternative self-directed banking method through Tangerine Bank.
  • International Banking provides financial products and advice to retail and commercial customers in select regions outside of Canada, supplemented by additional products and services offered by Global Banking & Markets and Global Wealth & Insurance.
  • Global Wealth & Insurance (GWI) combines the Bank's wealth management and insurance operations in Canada and internationally, and Global Transaction Banking. GWI is diversified across geographies and product lines.
  • Global Banking & Markets, Scotiabank's wholesale banking and capital markets arm, offers various products and services to corporate, government and institutional investor clients globally.
Financial highlights, by year
Measure 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Revenues, bn Can$ 10.365 10.727 10.261 10.295 10.726 11.208 12.490 11.876 14.457 15.505 17.310 19.646 21.299 23.604 24.049 26.350 27.155 28.775
Net income, bn $ 2.077 1.708 2.422 2.908 3.209 3.579 4.045 3.140 3.547 4.239 5.330 6.390 6.610 7.298 7.213 7.368 8.243 8.724
Assets, bn $ 284.4 296.4 285.9 279.2 314.0 379.0 411.5 507.6 496.5 526.7 594.4 668.2 743.6 805.7 856.5 896.3 915.3 998.5
Employees 46,804 44,633 43,986 43,928 46,631 54,199 58,113 69,049 67,802 70,772 75,362 81,497 86,690 86,932 89,214 88,901 88,645 97,629
Branches 2005 1847 1850 1871 1959 2191 2331 2672 2686 2784 2926 3123 3330 3288 3177 3113 3003 3,095
Senior debt credit ratings (May 2014)
Agency Rating
DBRS AA Stable
Fitch AA- Stable
Moody's Aa2 Stable
Standard & Poor's A+ Stable

Branch and office locations


Emily Carr Branch Library, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 01
A Scotiabank branch next to a public library in Victoria, Canada

Scotiabank operates branches in all Canadian provinces and territories, except for Nunavut.


Holetown Scotiabank, Barbados
A Scotiabank branch in Holetown, Barbados



The CONCACAF Champions League trophy. Scotiabank is the title sponsor for the event.

Scotiabank is the title sponsor for a number of sports events including the Calgary Marathon, the CONCACAF Champions League tournament (since 2015), and the Jewish National Fund's "Pitch for Israel" event. Scotiabank is also the title sponsor for running events that form a part of the Canada Running Series. They include Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal + 10k & 5k in April; Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k Run/Walk in June; Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k in October; and the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon. Since 2005, Scotiabank has also been the title sponsor of the CFL playoffs semi-final and conference final games, with games titled as the Scotiabank East Semi-finals and Scotiabank West Semi-finals. This is in addition to being the official financial services provider to the Canadian Football League. Scotiabank was also a primary sponsor for Champion Boxer Miguel Cotto during his 2009 bout with Manny Pacquiao.

Scotiabank also sponsors sports leagues and teams, becoming a sponsor for Club Deportivo Guadalajara in 2013, and becoming the official sponsor for the Chilean Primera División after signing a five-year period contract in 2014. Scotiabank is also the official bank of the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association. It was named official bank of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. In 2010, Scotiabank was a sponsor of the World Rally Championship's Corona Rally Mexico. Since 2008, Scotiabank has been the official team sponsor of the Canadian cricket Team and the title sponsor of National T20 Championship in Canada.

Scotiabank is also the official bank of the West Indies cricket team.

Calgary, September 2015 (66) (21066808744)
The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The bank has held the arena's naming rights since October 2010.

Scotiabank Arena - 2018 (cropped)
The Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The bank has held the arena's naming rights since July 2018.

Scotiabank is also the title sponsor for a number of athletic facilities. They include the Scotiabank Aquatics Center in Guadalajara; Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary (since October 8, 2010); and the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax (since June 25, 2014). The naming rights for the Scotiabank Centre was signed for ten years, with annual fees of $650,000 for said rights. The facility officially opened its doors as the rebranded Scotiabank Centre on September 19, 2014. On August 29, 2017, Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, announced that Scotiabank purchased the naming rights to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for $800 million, a record-setting deal described as "one of the biggest investments in naming rights in North America". The multi-sport complex was renamed July 1, 2018, as Scotiabank Arena. From 2006 through 2013, Scotiabank held the naming rights to the arena of the Ottawa Senators, branding it Scotiabank Place. Canadian Tire took over the naming rights for the Senators' arena in June 2013. In 2022, Scotiabank acquired the naming rights to the Bell MTS Iceplex near Winnipeg; rather than use the Scotiabank name, the facility is instead branded as Hockey for All Centre, as an extension of a diversity and inclusion campaign of the same name.


Scotiabank has been a title sponsor for a number of cultural events and institutions in Canada. In 2005, Scotiabank became title sponsor of the Giller Prize. From 2006 to 2015, Scotiabank was the title sponsor for the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto. In 2008, Scotiabank announced a two-year sponsorship of Toronto's Caribana which would be rebranded as Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto. The sponsorship of the Caribbean festival was extended until 2015, when the partnership with the festival ended. In 2016 Scotiabank held its first hackathon with the goal of solving Canadian debt.

Scotiabank Theatre St. John’s
Several Cineplex Entertainment theatres have been branded as "Scotiabank Theatre" since 2007.

Scotiabank and Canadian theatre operator Cineplex Entertainment partnered in 2007 to create a loyalty rewards program called Scene+. The program allows patrons to sign up for a special card that grants them points which can be redeemed for free movies or concession discounts. Scotiabank customers can also request a debit card which gives them points when used, and a Visa credit card was launched in early May. Five Cineplex Entertainment locations were also rebranded as "Scotiabank Theatres." In 2015, the two companies announced they extended the partnership through October 31, 2025, and would expand naming rebrand another five theatres as Scotiabank Theatres. On December 14, 2021, the new Scene+ program was launched. It merged Scene and Scotia Rewards points.

Scotiabank is also the title sponsor for two post-secondary facilities in Canada, including Scotiabank Hall at Brock University in St. Catharines; and Scotiabank Hall in the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Scotiabank has also established an industry partnership with the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.


  • 2005 – "Bank of the Year" – For Mexico, the Caribbean and in Jamaica by LatinFinance.
  • 2007 – "Bank of the Year" The Banker – London England, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank Belize, Scotiabank Turks and Caicos
  • 2008 – "Bank of the Year" The Banker – London England, Scotiabank Barbados, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank Guyana, Scotiabank Turks and Caicos
  • 2009 – "Bank of the Year" The Banker – London England, Scotiabank Canada, Scotiabank Barbados, Scotiabank Dominican Republic, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank Turks and Caicos
  • 2010 – "Bank of the Year" The Banker – London England, Scotiabank Barbados, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank Turks and Caicos
  • 2011 – "Best Emerging Market Bank" Global Finance Magazine – New York, Scotiabank Jamaica, Scotiabank Barbados, Scotiabank Costa Rica, Scotiabank Turks and Caicos.
  • 2012 - "Global Bank of the Year" The Banker "Bank of the Year" for the Americas, Antigua, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Canada and Turks and Caicos.
  • 2013 – "Bank of the Year" in British Virgin Islands, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago by The Banker.
  • 2014 – "Best Emerging Market Bank in Latin America" Global Finance Magazine in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos and U.S. Virgin Islands.


Scotiabank is a member of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and registered member with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), a federal agency insuring deposits at all of Canada's chartered banks. It is also a member of the Global ATM Alliance, a joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers of the banks to use their ATM cards or check cards at certain other banks within the Global ATM Alliance without fees when traveling internationally. Other participating banks are Barclays (United Kingdom), Bank of America (United States), BNP Paribas (France and Ukraine through UkrSibbank), Deutsche Bank (Germany), and Westpac (Australia and New Zealand). Other international associations of which the bank is a member include:

  • Amex in Canadian markets
  • CarIFS ATM Network
  • Global ATM Alliance
  • Interac
  • MAGNA Rewards as part of the Scotiabank MAGNA MasterCard.
  • MasterCard in the Caribbean markets
  • MultiLink Network ATM network
  • NYCE ATM Network
  • Plus Network for VISA card users
  • VISA International
  • UNEPFI as part of the Net Zero Banking Alliance initiative

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Scotiabank para niños

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