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Scotiabank's Financial Access Program Marks First Anniversary with New Partnerships

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TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2021 /CNW/ - In commemoration of Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada, Scotiabank marks its one-year anniversary of the Financial Access Pilot Project and today announces its sustainable Financial Access Program and expanded non-government organization (NGO) partnerships in Ontario, engaging with Voice Found in Ottawa and Covenant House in Toronto.

Scotiabank (CNW Group/Scotiabank) Logo (CNW Group/The Bank of Nova Scotia)
Scotiabank (CNW Group/Scotiabank) Logo (CNW Group/The Bank of Nova Scotia)

Scotiabank's Financial Access Program is the first in Canada to work with NGOs to create a referral system, linking survivors of human trafficking to financial services to help them rebuild their financial independence. This includes providing survivors a free chequing account for 12 months, a savings account, as well as financial literacy instruction with a specially designated advisor. The program also expands on the pilot project, launched in British Columbia in partnership with The Salvation Army Illuminate, offering the option for a credit card and specially developed human trafficking awareness and sensitivity training for branch employees.

"Once survivors enter the program, we take a trauma-sensitive approach to onboarding them as customers, renew their access to the financial system and enhance their knowledge of financial literacy," says Stuart Davis, Executive Vice President, Financial Crimes Risk Management, Scotiabank. "Our goal is to empower survivors in their journey to financial freedom, many of whom have had their financial identities stolen by their traffickers."

Expanding NGO partnerships

Today's announcement builds on the Bank's commitment to financial inclusion and literacy, and continued partnership with The Salvation Army Illuminate, who co-led the development of the pilot.

"These financial services may seem basic to many, but to those who are recovering from human trafficking they provide a lifeline of healing," says Larissa Maxwell, Director of the Salvation Army Illuminate, who runs Deborah's Gate, a live-in recovery program for survivors based in British Columbia. "This project paves a path forward for survivors in regaining their financial independence."

Scotiabank intends to evolve the Financial Access Program by expanding its partnerships with NGOs across Canada. "We are delighted to partner with Scotiabank on this much needed program," says Cynthia Bland, Founder and CEO, Voice Found. "Survivors who have experienced the trauma of human trafficking will now have guidance from bank personnel who understand their unique needs and resources to help them rebuild their finances and their lives."

For NGOs interested in participating in the Program, please contact financial.access@scotiabank.com.

"This is only the beginning in the ongoing fight against human trafficking" says Davis.
"We are hopeful that by expanding NGO partnerships we will connect with more survivors right across Canada."

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: "for every future", we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.1 trillion (as at October 31, 2020), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit http://www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

Related Links

www.scotiabank.ca

SOURCE The Bank of Nova Scotia

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2021/22/c2613.html