Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scotiabank inks China banking partnership

* Allows immigrants to open Scotia account in China

* Gives Scotia an early shot at new customers

TORONTO , Nov 6 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) said on Friday it reached a partnership deal with China Everbright Bank [EVRBK.UL] that will allow people moving to Canada to open a Scotiabank account while still in China.

Canada's No. 3 bank said the deal gives Chinese immigrants and students planning to move to Canada the ability to open a Scotiabank account at any of the 119 participating Everbright branches in 33 cities across China.

"We are proud to partner with CEB and to be able to leverage their strong presence in China to reach out and meet the banking needs of people before they embark on their journey to Canada," Scotiabank's director of Asian markets, Gina Li, said in a statement.

Immigrants have become an appealing target for Canada's big banks as they seek to expand their safe and reliable retail banking operations. Immigrants are Canada's fastest-growing population group, and China is considered a key market for Canadian financial service companies.

Once clients open an account in China and move to Canada, they must visit a Scotiabank branch to activate the account, Scotiabank said.

Toronto-based Scotiabank is considered the most international of Canada's big five banks, with operations in much of Latin America, the Caribbean and parts of Asia.

China Everbright Bank, headquartered in Beijing, is one of the largest in China. (Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Peter Galloway)