Scotiabank Considering Credit Cards for ING Direct, Hibberd Says

Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest lender, is considering adding credit cards for its ING Direct unit, said Robin Hibberd, a company executive.

Scotiabank is working with management of ING Direct, the Canadian-banking business acquired from ING Groep NV for C$3.1 billion ($3 billion) in November, on a credit-card strategy, Hibberd, executive vice president of retail products and services, said today at an investor conference in New York.

“The trick for us is they are known as a deposit-space institution primarily and what we have to make sure is whatever we introduce in terms of other products is consistent with their positioning in the market,” Hibberd said.

ING Direct currently offers its customers savings and checking accounts and mortgages, mostly through online banking. Toronto-based Scotiabank agreed to keep ING Direct’s accounts, locations and staff separate when it bought the business.

Scotiabank also sees opportunity to advance its own credit cards, including its American Express travel rewards card, if competitor Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce can’t renew its partnership with Aimia Inc., the Aeroplan rewards program owner. CIBC reiterated last month that it’s considering alternatives for its CIBC Aerogold Visa card should it fail to extend the 22-year agreement.

“It’s a great chance for us to put our product out there in front of people and say, ‘Look what we have and what it’s value is,’” Hibberd said. “We’re going to prepared, depending on how things work out, to respond appropriately.”