The Story Behind Scotiabank Jamaica

The Bank of Nova Scotia was established in Jamaica in 1889, and has enjoyed a history of changes and transformations from colonialism to independence. What began with a small banking office in Kingston is today, a sophisticated island-wide network of 35 branches. With a staff of over 2,000 in Jamaica, Scotiabank provides state-of-the-art retail and commercial banking services to the Jamaican public.

Over the past 120 plus years we have established our reputation as a strong, stable, and reliable participant in Jamaica's continuing growth and development. Our commitment to customers, "Discover what's possible." is more than just an advertising slogan; it is backed by the experience and stability accompanying a century of continuous and progressive banking operations in Jamaica. We draw on our past to help you uncover new opportunities for your future, giving you the power to make better off possible.

Historical Background


When The Bank of Nova Scotia first planted its roots in Jamaica in 1889, banking on the island was about 50 years old. In those 50-odd years, a number of other banks had come and gone.

Until the abolition of slavery on August 1, 1834, there had been little need for banks in Jamaica. The merchants soon began to see the advantage of having a local bank where bills of exchange could be converted to drafts in sterling, which would be more readily accepted by their creditors abroad. A barter trade had long existed between the province of Nova Scotia in Canada and Jamaica. As trade expanded in Jamaica during the middle of the 19th century, the limitations of the bartering system became increasingly apparent. The establishment of a branch of The Bank of Nova Scotia in Kingston, Jamaica therefore provided the best means of placing the trade on a monetary basis, and so The Bank of Nova Scotia was born.

Our Bank has survived the great earthquake that shattered Kingston in January 1907. In the 1930's there had been social, political, and economic changes with the advent of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and the establishment of the two-party political system as successive constitutional changes brought adult suffrage, self-government and in 1962, Jamaica's full independence as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Innovators


  • Mrs. Hastings made history in The Bank of Nova Scotia in Jamaica when she became the first female manager in 1962, heading the sub-branch in Montego Bay
  • Mrs. Myrtle Henry was the first woman to be appointed an Accountant in the late 60's
  • Mr. Harris Schroeter was the first Jamaican to be appointed to an administrative position
  • Mr. B. Tony Lindo—on the threshold of the bank's 100th anniversary in 1987—was appointed The Bank of Nova Scotia in Jamaica's first Jamaican General Manager