The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) has decided to divest insurance operations in two Caribbean countries including Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago to Sagicor Financial.

The Canadian bank said that the decision to offload Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company and ScotiaLife Trinidad and Tobago is part of its strategy to boost scale in core geographies, improve earnings quality and cut down risk to the bank.

Scotiabank will sign a 20-year bancassurance pact with Sagicor Financial.

These agreements are subject to receipt of regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Furthermore, the transaction is also conditional to completion of the announced transaction whereby Sagicor will be acquired by Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation. The surviving entity will continue to operate the Sagicor brand.

Separately, Scotiabank has decided to dispose of its banking operations in nine non-core markets in the Caribbean to Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL). These countries include Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Scotiabank international banking group head Ignacio Deschamps said: “Scotiabank is proud to work with the Republic Group and Sagicor – both leaders in financial services in the Caribbean who are well positioned to invest and grow these businesses.

“We are pleased to partner with Sagicor to deliver an enhanced suite of insurance products and services, underwritten by Sagicor, to our customers and to work with Republic Group, who is committed to delivering enhanced financial products and services that best serve customers’ needs.”

Affected staff of Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Company and ScotiaLife Trinidad and Tobago will join Sagicor, or a new licensed insurance sales entity that will be set up following this transaction.