Briefing

Scotiabank and BMO beat expectations on strength of trading and investment divisions

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Scotiabank reported adjusted earnings of $1.83 per share in the first quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates by eight cents. BMO earnings hit $2.41, a four-cent beat. (The Logic)

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Talking point: BMO’s and Scotiabank’s reports of strong investment-banking and trading operations follow RBC announcing the same last week. The results are driven by all three banks enjoying a more stable macroeconomic environment compared to the same quarter last year. Also today, BMO named Cam Fowler chief strategy and operations officer, a newly created role for the bank’s digital services and innovation strategy. BMO is making a cross-bank digital push, including investing in venture capital funds and launching a U.S. digital bank. In December 2019, the bank said it would cut five per cent of staff while ramping up the delivery of its digital services. Though it’s trying to expand its U.S. operations, the bank’s personal and commercial division in the country dropped 21 per cent, bucking a growth trend from the past two years. Scotiabank’s domestic banking decreased one per cent this quarter compared with last year, despite announcing in January that it wanted to get 40 per cent of its earnings from Canadian banking. Wealth management increased 12 per cent $309 million, now accounting for 13 per cent of overall earnings—Scotiabank is hoping it’ll hit 15 per cent of overall earnings.