Scotiabank operates in over 40 countries. It entered British controlled Trinidad in 1889, US-dominated Philippines a few years later and the Dominican Republic during the US occupation of 1916-1924.

In November 1981 a Bank of Nova Scotia executive told Walter Stewart in Towers of Gold: “I don’t know why Canadians are upset about bank profits. We’ve stopped screwing Canadians. Now we’re screwing foreigners.”

Scotiabank supports Canada’s massive international mining industry. In 2006 Scotiabank expanded into Peru to do more business with mining clients.

A major player in a number of Latin American countries, Scotiabank is part of the regional corporate lobby group the Canadian Council of the Americas, which organizes talks, comments in the media and publishes reports such as the 2015 “Canada in the Hemisphere Perspective Paper”. Scotiabank is also represented on the Senate of the Canadian International Council.