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Nov 29

Scotiabank profit tops $2B as credit loss provisions dip

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TORONTO -- Scotiabank (BNS.TO) is reporting a nine per cent increase in fourth-quarter net income, compared with the same time last year, with a slight decline in provisions for credit losses and strong operating performance in its main business segments.

It had $2.01 billion of net income for the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $1.84 billion a year earlier. That amounted to $1.57 per share, up eight per cent from $1.45 per share in the fourth quarter.

"We’re very pleased with our fourth-quarter results, Scotiabank CFO Sean D. McGuckin told BNN in an interview. 

Net income at the Canadian business segment was $954 million, up from $837 million a year earlier. The international segment had $619 million of net income, up from $564 million. Its global banking and capital markets segment had $461 million of net income, up from $325 million during the comparable period last year.

For the full 2016 financial year, ended Oct. 31, Scotiabank had $7.37 billion of net income, or $5.77 per diluted share, up from $7.21 billion up from $5.67 per share in fiscal 2015.

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Its provision for credit losses was $550 million, down $1 million from a year earlier. For the full year, provisions for credit losses totalled $2.41 billion, up from $1.94 billion in fiscal 2015, with all of the increases in the first two quarters.

"Our good results were achieved alongside a focused effort to advance the bank's strategic agenda including investments in digital capabilities to drive an even greater customer experience and more efficient operations," Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter said in the bank's announcement.

The Toronto-based bank recorded $278 million in restructuring charges in its fiscal second quarter, as it took a number of initiatives across the organization -- including work on digital technologies.

Scotiabank's revenue for the fourth quarter was $6.75 billion, up from $6.13 billion. For the full year, revenue was $26.3 billion, up $2.3 billion from fiscal 2015.

During the summer, it began to offer Apple Pay -- a form of electronic payment through Apple devices -- for its credit and debit cards.

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It also teamed with Atlanta-based Kabbage to begin offering an automaked loan process to existing business customers in Canada and Mexico.

Kabbage uses data analytics to determine a borrower's creditworthiness in minutes, removing the need to visit a bank branch, fill out paperwork and wait days for a decision.

At the end of October, Scotiabank had 3,113 branches worldwide, down 13 from the end of July and down 64 from the end of October 2015. The number of employees stood at 88,901, up from 88,783 at the end of July and down from 89,214 at the end of the 2015 financial year.

“We note that the fact that Scotia added to an already strong third quarter in its international banking segment should ease some of the near-term concerns that had been weighing on investor sentiment,” said Barclays Capital Analyst John Aiken in a report to clients.

With files from BNN

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