A slowdown in domestic mortgages currently impacting the Canadian banking industry has pushed Scotiabank and the Bank of Montreal to look for ways to improve their efficiencies.
Among the banks’ main objectives are to streamline and incorporate technologies that would help bring down the costs associated with accommodating Canadians’ increasing preference for online and mobile transactions.
“We spent over $3.1 billion on technology last year. The number this year will be even higher than that,” Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter said in an earnings discussion earlier this week, as quoted by Bloomberg.
“That’s really important – to digitize the bank, make it easier for our employees to service our customer base – and with that should come the benefit of lower costs.”
Read more: Nearly a quarter of Canadians do not compare mortgage rates before purchase
The efficiency ratio (that is, expenses as a percentage of revenue) of Scotiabank went down to 52.5% in the fiscal third quarter, from 52.8% during the previous quarter. This put the bank as the second best nationwide in terms of this metric, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, BMO saw its efficiency ratio at 58.2% in Q3, down from 63.4% in the previous quarter.