Evidence of meeting #26 for Foreign Affairs and International Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was microfinance.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Wendy Hannam  Executive Vice-President, Sales and Service, Products and Marketing, International Banking, Scotiabank
  • Morris Rosenberg  Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

3:55 p.m.

Executive Vice-President, Sales and Service, Products and Marketing, International Banking, Scotiabank

Wendy Hannam

We think that's a perfect example of ways that we could work with CIDA to foster economic development.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Can you compare the situation in Peru and in other countries where you do microfinance to the situation in Haiti and point out to us the types of things we need to do to get Haiti to that level?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Vice-President, Sales and Service, Products and Marketing, International Banking, Scotiabank

Wendy Hannam

I think it's a matter of 30 years—30 to 40 years' headstart in Peru. The business of microfinance had its origins in Peru and Bolivia. It's very well established. Those people who make the loans understand the risks in the business. Obviously, there are much higher loan losses in this business than in a traditional lending business.

They've learned the risk management. What's unique to Scotiabank is that because we have all that expertise in Peru, we're able to transfer it to other parts of the world. We don't need to recreate the wheel; we just export that Peruvian business model—bring some of the risk people and some of the business people and get it started in Haiti as well.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

You mentioned financial literacy. How important is that to developing countries? And how can governments play a role in partnering with the private sector, with organizations such as Scotiabank, to help provide that level of financial literacy that will allow people to take their country and their businesses to the next level?

3:55 p.m.

Executive Vice-President, Sales and Service, Products and Marketing, International Banking, Scotiabank

Wendy Hannam

I think it's absolutely critical everywhere. I think financial literacy should be taught at a much earlier age than it is anywhere in the world today, but especially in developing economies.

I mentioned we partner with Junior Achievement. We also produce our own financial education materials for microfinance: business basics, inventory management, collections, that type of thing. Again, I think to partner with CIDA, or any NGO, either in the production or distribution of that kind of education training material, is a natural.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Thank you.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

I need to seek unanimous consent now to sit through the bells. You have about 30 seconds left, and Mr. LeBlanc should get a round.

Is that all right? Can we do that?

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

I'm happy to defer to Mr. LeBlanc.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

Okay. Do I have unanimous consent just to finish off with Mr. LeBlanc?

March 12th, 2012 / 3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

You can't ask me to give unanimous consent to my own questions.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

I know I have your vote.

3:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Everybody at this table has voted for themselves.

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dean Allison

You have seven minutes, and then we'll wrap up.

4 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you very much for your presentation, and frankly, for the work your bank does around the world. Mr. Williamson and I are Maritimers. Certainly when I travel and see the Scotiabank sign, it makes me smile. I wish you still called it the Bank of Nova Scotia. It sounded better than Scotiabank. You've spent too much time in Toronto. You keep wanting to drop off the “Nova Scotia” part of it.