Scotia's Dan Rees says he's positive for the next century as the bank celebrates 100 years on the TSX
The new head of Canadian banking for the Bank of Nova Scotia says he’s positive on Canada’s fiscal future despite concerns over how the country’s consumers and businesses would handle an economic downturn.
“I’m extremely positive. I think the market doesn’t always give enough credit to Canadian consumers and to Canadian businesses for how they manage their balance sheet,” Dan Rees told BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman in an interview on Wednesday, as the bank celebrated 100 years of being listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“Certainly, there are individuals who are at one extreme finding affordability to be complicated,” he added. “But the vast majority of situations in businesses, which obviously employ individuals who rely on income, are well-positioned, well-capitalized, and highly liquid.”
Rees’s comments come on the heels of growing concerns around credit quality and the banks’ readiness for an economic downturn. Last month, famed short-seller Steve Eisman restated his short position on the Canadian banks after they reported “exceptionally poor” second-quarter results. Eisman has argued the country’s biggest lenders are “ill-prepared” for a normalization in the credit cycle and aren’t doing enough to prepare for a downturn.
But Rees, who was appointed to his role last month, pointed to positive momentum he sees particularly in Quebec, which he said “has never looked better,” and British Columbia, which is expected to advance this year, according to a recent forecast from TD Economics.
“These are exciting times for Canada,” Rees said.