The Bank of Nova Scotia, which has been operating in Barbados since 1956, has established Scotiabank Caribbean Holdings Limited (SCHL) in Barbados and is in the process of moving all of its shareholding in Scotia Group Jamaica Limited.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) in a notice posted to the T&T Stock Exchange, announced plans to transfer all of its 89,761,887 ordinary shares or 50.9 per cent shareholding in Scotiabank T&T Limited to Scotiabank Caribbean Holdings Limited (SCHL), its 100 per cent owned regional financing and holding subsidiary.
“SCHL has no intention of acquiring any additional shares in SBTT in the foreseeable future,” the bank said. The transfer of shares is part of a larger regional reorganisation of some BNS subsidiaries in the Caribbean which began in 2011. Following the transfer, Scotiabank will be on similar footing with many of its competitors in the Caribbean in terms of its organisational structure.
When the transfer is completed, SCHL will be the majority shareholder of Scotiabank T&T as the beneficial owner of 50.9 per cent of the issues and outstanding ordinary shares in the local bank.
While some in Kingston have hinted that the move was linked to tax benefits offered in Barbados, Frederick Williams, chief financial officer and chief accounting officer of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited (SGJL), told the media that any tax benefits were “incidental”.
In a move that is yet to be approved by Jamaican regulators, Scotiabank revealed that its 71.78 per cent stake in Jamaica’s second largest bank would be transferred from Bank of Nova Scotia in Canada to Scotiabank Caribbean Holdings Limited, its wholly-owned regional financing and holding subsidiary in Barbados.