The Business Year

Troy Wright

MEXICO - Finance

An Enviable Position

Executive Vice-President & CEO, Scotiabank Mexico

Bio

As Executive Vice-President and CEO of Scotiabank Mexico, Troy Wright is responsible for the operations of the Mexican subsidiary, which employs 11,000 people in more than 700 branches. He joined the bank in 1993 and prior to his current position he held posts such as CEO of Scotiabank in Puerto Rico, Vice-President of M&As in International Banking, Vice-President of Commercial Banking in Canada, and Vice-President of Capital Markets in Mexico. He graduated in Economics from the University of Western Ontario. He is also the President of the Association of Banks of Puerto Rico and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico.

What do you believe are the strengths of the Mexican economy? Mexico has a very stable and positive government administration that has inherited a solid fiscal position. The government has […]

What do you believe are the strengths of the Mexican economy?

Mexico has a very stable and positive government administration that has inherited a solid fiscal position. The government has been responsible with spending, and it is now occupying an enviable position when compared to the standards of many countries with stable government expenditures and revenues. There are a variety of Mexican states that have financial difficulties, but overall Mexico is fiscally sound. Inflation is trending in the right direction and the country can be proud of its accomplishments. This will help in the long run with interest rates as inflation continues to be the focus of the Banco de México. The government is also working to introduce additional reforms, which could certainly help the growth of the economy. Mexico should grow in the 3%-4% range in 2012, and the opportunity for Mexico to grow at a 5%-6% range is within the country’s reach. The government’s current combination of a strong fiscal situation and very sound inflation control has led to the growth of internal demand. The base and competitiveness of the Mexican economy is continuing to be strong relative to the competitive forces that may be found in Asia, which are increasing the cost of manufacturing there. We are also seeing an increase of manufacturing in Mexico. Work is coming back onshore again.

What has been your incoming strategy in the dynamic Mexican market?

Our main strategy has been to fine-tune our value propositions for our customers. We know that there are many banks in the Mexican market, and customers—whether they are large, medium, or small—have many choices. Our clientele can choose banks, products, and services at a varied price and level, and our strategy has been to refine what we offer. We want to fine-tune our segmentation and find the best package of products with the right channels and prices so that we can serve the customers with the right access points. Increasingly in banking, it is important for banks to be pro-active and anticipate the needs of customers with regard to age, socioeconomic level, and status in life. Each life stage has a different requirement, and it is important for us to be able to anticipate the needs of our customers. The best example of where things are changing for customers is on the channel side. Even Mexico, which used to be known as a bricks-and-mortar type of market where people went to the branches to pay bills, cash checks, withdraw money, or make deposits, is becoming increasingly similar to many other countries in Scandinavia or Europe. There is a lot of penetration in terms of the use of online and mobile banking. Considering that Mexico has 115 million inhabitants and 40 million people online, more people are using the web to research and understand banking products and services. There are approximately 20 million online banking customers across the sector in Mexico, making it a very fast growing segment—some banks registered double-digit growth. The banks have increased the presence of ATMs significantly so that people don’t have to go to branches. We recently signed an agreement with a third-party company called OXXO, which allows us to use their 12,000 stores to make payments and pay credit card bills.

What was the strategy behind the move to acquire Crédito Familiar? Will you make further acquisitions?

Crédito Familiar is designed for us to be able to service the D segment of the socioeconomic scale in Mexico. Scotiabank has generally been associated with the A, B, and C markets because of the products and credit that we offer. With Crédito Familiar, we have launched operations in a whole new market segment, which offers a tremendous amount of opportunity for us to provide lending, which can be in smaller amounts that are used to buy basic goods. It is a market that we don’t know very well in Mexico, but we are very familiar with its equivalent in Central and South America and the Caribbean, where we have an extremely well-developed consumer banking segment. This is something we are bringing to Mexico and we expect it to grow rapidly. We expect to also graduate approximately 10% of our customers out of Crédito Familiar to the main bank on an annual basis. There is a great opportunity for us there, and much that we can build. As a result, we can penetrate a new segment of the economy and that is also a largely unbanked group, so it is a great opportunity to attract customers as they become more prosperous and their household incomes grow.

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