Scotiabank is looking to exit the Virgin Islands as the Bank of Nova Scotia has reached an agreement for the sale of 100% of its shares in Scotiabank (British Virgin Islands) Limited to Republic Financial Holdings Limited (‘Republic Bank’) Bank.

The announcement of the agreement of sale on Thursday, November 28, 2019 comes a year after Scotiabank, Canada’s third-biggest lender, had announced it planned to exit nine countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Anguilla, Dominica, St Maarten and Grenada, by selling its operations to Republic Financial Holdings.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, a press release from Scotiabank on November 28, 2019 stated.

“This transaction supports the Bank’s strategic decision to focus on operations across its footprint where it can achieve greater scale and deliver the best value for customers,” according to the press release.

Scotiabank had been selling non-core businesses and focusing its international operations on the Pacific Alliance trading bloc of Peru, Mexico, Chile and Columbia, which now accounts for around a quarter of its revenue.

On October 31, 2019, Scotiabank completed the sale of its banking operations in Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten and St Vincent & the Grenadines to Republic Bank.

The Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana; however, have resisted the sale of Scotiabank in their countries.

The Bank of Nova Scotia announced on Friday, September 27, 2019 it would not proceed with a proposed sale of its operations in Guyana following opposition from the central bank.

The Bank of Guyana cited concerns about concentration and competition in denying Scotiabank permission.

Republic Bank is said to be a leading financial institution founded in 1837 in Trinidad and Tobago, providing a broad range of financial services to individuals, corporate and institutional clients across the Caribbean