Familiar face

Posted on July 07, 2014 | Darren Campbell | 0 Comments

Scotiabank promotes Atlantic Canadian to top management job in the region

For the first time in a long time, Scotiabank has named a native son to run its Atlantic Canadian operations.

The bank appointed Craig Thompson to senior vice-president, retail and small business banking, Atlantic Canada in May. It’s the bank’s top management position in the region and Thompson, who was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia and raised in Riverview, New Brunswick, becomes the first Atlantic Canadian in more than three decades to be promoted to that job.

Having a long-time Atlantic Canadian in charge of its East Coast operations could come in handy as the bank, which posted a profit of $6.7 billion in 2013, tries to carve out a bigger market share for itself in the region. That’s because relationships matter in this part of the world. Residents in many of the small, tight-knit communities here like to know who they are dealing with when it comes to financial matters. Enter Thompson, who has worked in all four provinces during his Scotiabank career. “The typical learning curve in this job can be quite steep. A lot of it is getting known in the market. I know the economy and the leaders. The familiarity is an obvious benefit. “

One of the pillars of Scotiabank’s regional strategy is to help small businesses in Atlantic Canada grow and have branch staff spend more time with customers. A lot of the products banks provide are pretty generic. To stand out in a crowded field, Thompson says Scotiabank’s 150 bank specialists in the region need to give small business owners and other customers the personal touch and establish strong relationships with them. “The big difference is the person sitting in front of our customers and the experience and advice they can bring,” Thompson says. “Word of mouth is incredibly important. It’s how you start to build business in the region.”

As Thompson goes about building that business, he’ll also be busy visiting all 152 Scotiabank branches in Atlantic Canada. “I’ll be on the road a lot. It will be about an 18-month process. My wife won’t recognize me after it’s over,” Thompson jokes. Maybe his wife won’t recognize him, but Thompson hopes by that time Scotiabank’s family will.

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