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Bank of Nova Scotia has hired four people for its metals business in New York after losing six traders and salesmen who defected to rival Canadian lender Bank of Montreal last month, sources said.

The move signals that Scotiabank, whose Mocatta metals arm has for years been the world’s biggest lender to the physical precious metals industry, is committed to the business despite a restructuring that has seen staff exit the bank in droves.

Scotiabank embarked on a plan to halve the size of its metals operation earlier this year after failing to sell it, sources have previously told Reuters.

More than 10 people have left in London and New York since the restructuring began, including the heads of Mocatta’s American and European operations.

The defection of six staff in New York in September left Scotiabank with fewer than five people in metals in the city, while boosting BMO’s New York staff count in metals to around eight.

Scotiabank has pulled former employee Robert Lockwood out of retirement and hired Steve Scacalossi from Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. and Amaryllis Gryllaki from TD Securities, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Lockwood and Mr. Scacalossi have already started at the bank, while Ms. Gryllaki will begin soon, the sources said.

Scotiabank also hired an analyst, Nicky Shiels, in September.

Scotiabank declined to comment. Sumitomo and TD did not respond to requests for comment. Mr. Scacalossi declined to comment. Mr. Lockwood and Ms. Gryllaki did not answer emails or LinkedIn messages asking for comment.

Scotiabank’s hires are the first in metals since Scotiabank set about shrinking the business, according to the sources.

Scotiabank recognized it had to act to make sure the loss of staff and clients did not get out of hand, one of the sources said. “Scotia have got a big job convincing clients they are in it long haul,” the source said.

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