National Bank Annual Meeting of Shareholders: Strong and Stable Growth in 2013
National Bank held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders today in Calgary, Alberta, which has become an increasingly important focal point of business for the Bank. Its presence has grown considerably in Western Canada in recent years, mainly due to important acquisitions in wealth management. Active in Western Canada since 1892, the Bank has nearly 800 employees, 40 branches and securities brokerage offices, and is a major player in capital markets.
During the Meeting, the Bank stated its confidence in Quebec’s business context: "Despite the challenges presented by public and private debt, there are encouraging signs that an equilibrium is being attained, thanks to renewed efforts by the various levels of government, businesses and citizens," said Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I also firmly believe that our flexible super-regional bank model will continue to deliver over the years. Quebec's many fundamental and inspiring strengths and all the development possibilities found elsewhere in Canada will allow the Bank and its clients to continue growing at a steady pace."
Mr. Vachon also gave a positive overview of the Bank's activities. "National Bank has set a clear objective for itself: to offer a superior experience across all its channels, including branches and telephone services, as well as online and mobile platforms. We want to continue setting ourselves apart so that all the key contributors to the Bank's success—our employees, clients and shareholders—can benefit, as can all the communities the Bank serves."
Excellent overall performance in 2013
Year after year, the Bank has performed solidly in all areas. Its financial strength, highly motivated teams, and the close relationships it has forged with the communities and its clients have placed the Bank in a strong position to further its growth.
During the Meeting, Mr. Vachon also discussed the Bank's excellent results in 2013. In addition to posting solid financial results, supported by growth across its three business segments, the Bank succeeded in generating major benefits.
Long-term value for shareholders
- Superior total shareholder return for 3-, 5- and 10-year periods, and the dividend was increased by 10%
- Ranked among the most solid banks in the world for its financial strength by Bloomberg Markets magazine for the third year running
A recognized top employer
- Continued presence among the top employers in the country, including the 50 Best Employers in Canada, Best Employers for New Canadians and Best Diversity Employers
- A leader in the number of women represented: close to 50% of executive positions held by women, and an increase in the number of women on the Board of Directors.
Promising initiatives for a superior client experience
- New features have been added to our mobile solutions—more than 235,000 users to date
- Rollout in Quebec of one of the best mortgage origination platforms in North America, which allows 75% of applications to be processed in only one client meeting.
Ongoing investments in IT and targeted expansion
The Bank will continue investing in IT over the next few years. One of its priority initiatives is to offer clients an even greater multichannel experience. In addition, the Bank's website www.nbc.ca is being revamped, as are all its automated banking machines.
The Bank's strategic priorities also include a measured expansion in certain international markets. For example, the Bank would like to increase its capacity to sell Canadian products abroad. Opening an office in Hong Kong and boosting its presence in major financial centres, such as London and New York, will help achieve this objective.
Changes to the Board of Directors
Some of the changes to the composition of the Board of Directors were addressed at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Since Jean Douville and Paul Gobeil did not seek to renew their mandates, the nominations of Julie Payette and Richard Fortin, who joined the Board this past year, were proposed and accepted.
“On behalf of the Bank's shareholders and employees, I would like to sincerely thank Messrs. Douville and Gobeil for their dedication and involvement. In his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the past 10 years, Mr. Douville skilfully guided us through several major events, and Paul Gobeil made a significant contribution to many of the Board committees," stated Louis Vachon, President and CEO.
Ms. Payette will bring to the Board of Directors highly specialized expertise in information technology and large-scale project management, while Mr. Fortin's extensive knowledge of retail trade and finance will be a major asset.
About National Bank of Canada
With $195 billion in assets as at January 31, 2014, National Bank of Canada (www.nbc.ca), together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups, and has been named among the 20 strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets magazine. The Bank has close to 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. The Bank's securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). Follow the Bank's activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at clearfacts.ca and commitment.nationalbank.ca.
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Senior Advisor – Public Affairs