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Canada's Scotiabank, CIBC seek acquisitions in U.S. wealth management

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A Bank of Nova Scotia logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa
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By Nichola Saminather

TORONTO (Reuters) -Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) want to expand further in the United States, particularly in areas like wealth management, their chief executives said on Thursday.

Scotiabank is seeking to either buy a wealth management team or existing business in the United States, CEO Brian Porter said at the Scotiabank Financials Summit.

CIBC, the most domestically focused of Canada's five biggest banks, is seeking "private economy" opportunities in major cities where it has already established a footprint, CEO Victor Dodig said at the conference.

CIBC will "look at where we can smartly tuck in some acquisitions that will strengthen our hand and deliver growth, Dodig said. "Right now, our focus is the private economy, so wealth management and commercial banking, augmented by our capital markets presence."

With loan growth subdued and margins challenged by record-low interest rates, Canadian banks' have been reliant on fee revenues, particularly from wealth management and investment banking, to lift earnings and have been looking to the larger U.S. market to help drive that growth.

Scotiabank shares rose 0.4% to C$78.41 in morning trading in Toronto, while CIBC shares added 0.8% to C$146.86. The broader stock benchmark was up about 0.1%.

Other major lenders including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal have already established sizeable U.S. operations. RBC in particular has been rapidly growing https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rbc-wealth-idCAKBN25U1I6#:~:text=RBC%20has%20made%20inroads%20into,National%20following%20its%202015%20acquisition its U.S. wealth management division by acquiring teams from domestic rivals.

(Reporting By Nichola SaminatherEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell)