Canadian financial services firm Scotiabank has announced that it had sold off its operations in Guyana to its regional rival First Citizens Bank.
The news comes almost three years after the Canadian bank sold its operations in nine Caribbean countries to Republic Financial Holdings, saying the banking regulation in the region is too complex to operate.
In fact, Guyana too was one of those nine countries, but Scotiabank could not exit Guyana as the country’s banking regulator refused to approve the sale.
The regulator argued that the sale would create a banking monopoly, pointing to Republic Financial’s 35% share in Guyana’s financial services market.
Now, Scotiabank has wrapped up a deal with another buyer. Unfortunately, the latest agreement has also hit a roadblock.
Ashni Singh, Guyana’s Minister for Finance, has stated that Scotiabank cannot sell its operations without prior approval from the country’s central bank. Scotiabank has not reacted to the minister’s statement.
The Canadian bank is expanding its operations in many Latin American countries but is exiting the English-speaking Caribbean.
In a statement, the company executives said they want to focus on the countries where they have ample opportunity to grow.