STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did Scotiabank, one of the largest banking corporations in Canada, announce in an online article and on a store sign that it is currently closed so that it can convert "all banking accounts to digital bank accounts" by April 1, 2023? No, that's not true: A Scotiabank spokesperson told Lead Stories these claims are false. A reverse image search reveals the bank door sign in this post is a digitally altered version of a 2021 newspaper photo of a COVID-19 closure announcement.
The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Twitter on March 29, 2023. The caption opened:
💥SCOTIA BANK IS IN THE PROCESS OF UPGRADING AND TRANSITIONING ALL BANKING ACCOUNTS TO DIGITAL BANK ACCOUNTS ON APRIL 1ST 2023 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯💥 https://newswire.ca/news-releases/scotiabank-lays-foundation-for-data-rich-payments-across-global-footprint-882328520.html
This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken Wed Mar 29 18:13:35 2023 UTC)
This post claims Scotiabank is closed for upgrades that will convert accounts to "digital bank accounts" as of March 29, 2023.
Lead Stories reached out to Scotiabank to verify the validity of these claims. Katie Raskina, the manager of media relations and issues management at Scotiabank, responded in a March 30, 2023, email:
I can confirm this is not an authentic Scotiabank poster, and its claims are false.
The image of the sign on the left-hand side of the post is photo edited. The first hint that it's a spoof is that the purported drastic change would take effect on April Fool's Day, 2023.
A Bing reverse image search located the 2-year-old image the fake sign was made from. This May 4, 2021, My Prince George Now article titled, "Quesnel bank closed down due to COVID-19," includes the same photo of the sign.
Unlike the fake sign, the original includes no bolded text. It says the bank was "expected to reopen on May 10, 2021." The article said the bank in British Columbia had closed due to a COVID-19 exposure.
A larger and clearer version of the original closure sign can also be viewed here.
The screenshot of an image seen on the right-hand side of the post has text that appears to be from a press release. A web search using keywords highlighted in the image produced this March 21, 2023, press release, titled, "Scotiabank Lays Foundation for Data-Rich Payments across Global Footprint" issued by Scotiabank on the Cision Newswire platform. There is no mention of a transition of all bank accounts to digital ones on April 1, 2023. It instead explained they are beginning a process to develop payments internationally:
The SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system migration upgrade allows Scotiabank the ability to process ISO 20022 wire payments for clients throughout its global footprint across 26 markets in North America, Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Lead Stories has reached out to Scotiabank and will update this fact check if a response is received.
In a similar fact check, Lead Stories found the claim that the "entire banking system" in Canada closed down to be false.
2023-03-30T19:39:34Z 2023-03-30T19:39:34ZAdds statement from Scotiabank spokesperson.