Scotiabank expands in Panama, Costa Rica, buys assets from Citigroup

TORONTO – Scotiabank plans to buy Citigroup’s retail and commercial banking businesses in Panama and Costa Rica for an undisclosed price.

Scotiabank says the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is in line with its strategy of increasing scale in the region.

Among other things, the purchase would increase the bank’s market share in credit cards to about 18 per cent in Panama and 15 per cent in Costa Rica, ranking it No. 2 in both countries.

It would also nearly triple Scotiabank’s customer base in those two countries to 387,000 from 137,000.

Citibank’s operations in Costa Rica and Panama include 27 branches that serve more than 250,000 retail and commercial banking customers.

It would continue to operate in the two countries.

Scotiabank entered Panama in 1974 where it now has US$2.7 billion in assets, 16 branches and 22 ABMs serving about 27,000 customers. It entered Costa Rica in 1995 where it now has US$2.65 billion in assets, 35 branches and 153 ABMs serving 110,000 customers.