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Avnish SoniThe path to success looked smooth to Avnish Soni and his wife Pinki when they attended a New Delhi seminar about immigrating to Canada. Unfortunately, no one could anticipate the global economic crisis that greeted them in British Columbia in early 2009. Today, through personal persistence – and support from Scotiabank – the couple is progressing toward their goals.

Still in India, at a seminar sponsored by Scotiabank, the Soni family was excited about moving to Canada. Bank representatives explained financial services to help them get established in their new country, and Avnish, an MBA-trained branch manager at one of India’s largest banks, was excited by the prospect of seeking work at the Canadian bank.

“I’m a go-getter and I liked how Scotiabank was proactive in sharing settlement information and pre-arranging banking and credit services,” recalls Avnish, referring to the Scotiabank StartRight® Program for Newcomers, which includes a free day-to-day bank account for one year , a wide range of credit card options and a number of other customized services and benefits. “I decided to make Canada’s most international bank the first target in my job search.”

On arrival in Surrey, BC, the experienced banker was pleasantly surprised when the Scotiabank Branch Manager emerged from his office to welcome the couple and their two daughters. “I was astonished by the friendly service and how our account and debit cards were waiting for us, as promised in New Delhi,” says Avnish, who adds that his unsecured credit card was ready within a week.

While the weak economy challenged the Soni’s immediate career hopes, the Scotiabank Branch Manager accepted Avnish’s resumé and offered career tips. Pinki applied her teaching degree as a tutor.

“We stayed positive and kept working at it,” notes Avnish, who worked odd jobs while he studied for his mutual funds license, joined professional associations, and often visited the Scotiabank branch to keep in touch. His determination paid off when some months later he was hired into the Bank training program.

Today as a Senior Personal Banking Officer at Scotiabank’s suburban White Rock Branch, Avnish is eager to dispense tips on personal finance, government services and career-building. “A newcomer has many fears of the unknown, and my goal is to be their friend and a trusted advisor, showing them how to lower expenses, manage credit, and learn how Canada works.”

Career-wise, Avnish tells newcomers to stick with their goals, despite the hurdles. “Take a job to put food on the table, but don’t lose focus on what you want to do. Work on your language skills, learn about job market expectations and see how you can add value,” he says.

Perseverance also helps newcomers reach financial goals. “It’s never too early to start a financial plan, and I guide newcomers on ways to start saving for a home or any goal. For my family and me, our journey has just begun, but we’ve got something to aim for and that’s why we came here.”

(1)The Scotiabank StartRight Program, created for Canadian Landed Immigrants from 0-3 years in Canada, International Students and Foreign Workers. The Scotiabank StartRight Mortgage Program, created for Canadian Landed Immigrants and Foreign Workers from 0-5 years in Canada.
(2) Offer available for one year when you open a new Scotia One™ account with Scotiabank. Free banking means that we will waive your Monthly Account Fee only. All other fees not covered by your banking package will continue to apply, including additional fees charged by other financial institutions and access fees to use non-Scotiabank banking machines (e.g., Interac **, VISA* or PLUS* fees). Cardholder service fees continue to apply for using cross border debit service. Please see the Day-to-Day Banking Companion Booklet for further details about these services and fees.
(3) Subject to meeting Scotiabank’s credit criteria and security requirements.
® Registred trademark of the Bank of Nova Scotia
™ Trademark of the Bank of Nova Scotia.
* VISA Int/Lic. User The Bank of Nova Scotia
**Interac Inc. owner of mark Interac. The Bank of Nova Scotia is an authorized user of the trademark.