Canada will withstand concerns about the housing market because of its relatively strong global position, Bank of Nova Scotia Chief Executive Officer Richard Waugh said.
“The current concerns about Canada’s housing market are reason for caution but not pessimism,” said Waugh, according to the text of his speech at the bank’s 180th annual meeting today in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. “We can and will manage through any potential problems.”
Waugh, 64, said Canadian household balance sheets “remain solid, and our housing market is supported by strong fundamentals.” He said it’s up to Canadian banks, and not government or regulators, to manage risks and advise clients appropriately.
Scotiabank had record annual profit last year of C$5.27 billion ($5.32 billion), driven by increases in domestic and international consumer banking. Last month, the lender said net income in the fiscal first quarter rose 15 percent to C$1.44 billion.
Waugh, a vice chairman of the Institute of International Finance, expects the global economy to have “prolonged period of slower economic growth, higher market volatility and continued uncertainty.”
“It’s important to note that Canada remains in a stronger position than most others,” Waugh said.
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