Scotiabank reports robust Q2 profits amid extensive ABM upgrades Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Scotiabank is set to complete the upgrade of its automated bank machines (ABMs) across Jamaica later this year.

To date, the bank has upgraded 250 machines with new parts in a move to enhance customer service.

“We’ve been making continued investments in our ABM network to ensure that we offer the best services to our customers,” said Perrin Gayle, Head of Retail Banking and Small Business for Caribbean North and Central.

The bank is currently testing imaging technology for new machines and has 58 new ABMs ready to replace the final batch in its network.

“Once that is completed later this year, it means we will have completed a 100 per cent upgrade of every single ABM that we have in Jamaica to a newer version,” Gayle stated at a press briefing on June 7.

The briefing also saw Scotia President and CEO Audrey Tugwell Henry announce profits of $5.4 billion for the second quarter ending April 2023, reflecting a $2.3 billion increase over the previous quarter.

Gayle emphasised that the upgrades are part of an extensive effort to ensure ABMs are more reliable and consistent, meeting the service demands of customers.

“We’re also making further investments in the overall aesthetics and security to ensure that the ABM experience for our customers is very positive,” he added.

As the second-largest bank in Jamaica by assets, Scotiabank operates 292 ABMs, accounting for approximately 35 per cent of the national total.

The bank’s upgrades align with regulatory standards set by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), which require banks to meet comprehensive service level standards for ABM operations.

The BOJ will publish monthly reports on the performance of each bank’s ABM fleet, including geographical distribution, the number of installed machines, operational status, uptime, and recovery time for malfunctioning units.

Despite recent investments in its ABM network, Scotiabank said it has no immediate plans to adjust fees for ABM usage, though it has reported an increase in cash handling fees.

The bank has, however, adjusted its lending rates in response to the market environment, with the central bank maintaining interest rates at seven per cent since November 2022.

“Our adjustments to lending rates reflect current market interest rates,” said Group CEO Tugwell Henry, noting that such adjustments are not unique to Scotiabank.

Scotia has seen an increase in its loan portfolio increased by $35.5 billion, or 14.4 per cent, compared to April 2023, with loans net of allowances for credit losses reaching $282.3 billion.

Notably, the core loan book showed robust performance, with mortgages increasing year-over-year by 24 per cent, consumer loans by 13 per cent, credit cards by 15 per cent, and commercial loans by eight per cent.