As smoothly and as uncomplicated as night turns to day, the Bank of Nova Scotia on Hillsborough Street, Roseau, last week gave way to the Republic Bank thus ending a 31 year relationship between a Canadian bank and the people of Dominica.

"We're excited to open our doors in Dominica and we wanted to share with you how we can work together to build communities and make your dreams a reality," said a statement from Republic Bank distributed to its Dominican customers. "While Republic is not new to banking, we are new to Dominica. This means that it will take a little while for us to understand what makes Dominica unique, but we would like to assure you that we are committed to taking the time to do so".

On November 1, 2019 Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) announced that it had closed its acquisition of seven Scotiabank operations on October 31, 2019.

Following receipt of approval from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten, and the execution of the Banking Business Vesting Orders in five of the Eastern Caribbean territories, RFHL formally acquired Scotia's operations in Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a press release from Republic Bank stated.

It continued: "The acquisition will add 350 team members to its staff complement, US$1.5 billion to the Group's total asset size and US$20 million to its net profits. The total asset base of the Republic Group will grow to approx. US$14.5 billion with profits of approx. US$260 million".

The Bank of Nova Scotia, commercially known as ScotiaBank, officially opened its doors for the first time in Dominica, on Hillsborough Street, Roseau in September 1988 and was part of the bank's expansion in the Caribbean.

St. Lucian Andre Cherebin was Scotiabank's first country manager who told EC News at the bank's opening in Dominica that "the bank was impressed with the stability of the country and its potential for development". Today, Republic Bank says Dominica is a "nation that understands the value of looking within to foster overall growth and we look forward to supporting you on that journey."

Republic Bank added: "We are confident that the dynamic local banking team, led by the very experienced Gina Severin, Republic's Country Manager, will ensure excellence in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social responsibility".

Mrs. Severin has been given the responsibility of guiding the transition from ScotiaBank to Republic Bank. In August 2019 she became the first Dominican national to become a local Country Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Dominica and when the time came for Republic Bank to open its doors here Severin was the natural choice. Thus she became the first Country Manager of Republic Bank from 1st November 2019.

Severin has 28 years' experience in banking having joined ScotiaBank as a customer service clerk in December 1991.

During the course of her career Severin held positions from Head of Accounting to Commercial Loans Manager to Money Laundering and Reporting Officer to Compliance Manager and other top management positions. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Columbus University (2002) and a Master's degree in Human Resource Management and Training from Leicester University (2005).