Equitable Bank Enters Quebec's Single Family Mortgage Market

MONTREAL, March 31, 2014 /CNW/ - Equitable Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.A) and a leader in providing mortgage solutions for the self-employed, new residents and those with credit challenges, today officially launched its Single Family Lending Services business in the Greater Montréal and Gatineau regions.

In announcing its entry into the Quebec single family market, Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer said the Bank has come to fully appreciate the opportunity – and need – for Equitable-style service in the Québec residential mortgage market as a result of the Company's long-time engagement as a successful lender for commercial real estate in Montreal.

"The Montreal and Gatineau regions are home to a significant number of potential customers and mortgage brokers who would benefit from our services," said Mr. Moor. "We're out to change that by increasing the competitive choices available in the single family residential mortgage market in both of these dynamic centres that together have over 4 million residents." He added that, "these are attractive markets for us -- both are home to vibrant communities of borrowers with diverse sources of employment.  Bringing these markets into our lending network enhances our presence as a national financial services provider."

Equitable is well known for its branchless bank solutions and service-based approach to mortgage lending. Where other banks see limits, Equitable sees possibilities and this has made the Bank a favoured choice among mortgage brokers and borrowers alike to be able to get the financing to support their goals of home ownership.

To ensure its commitment to Québec is successful over the long-term, Equitable has built an experienced Single Family Lending Services team, headed by Lisa Taylor, Senior Manager, Residential Mortgage Underwriting. This team also includes additional Québec natives Kevin Goolab, Senior Mortgage Underwriter, Catherine Marchand, Regional Business Manager and Sarah Rouhany, Mortgage Officer, each of whom joined Equitable after successful careers serving other financial institutions. This team serves side-by-side with Equitable's Commercial Lending Services group, headed in Québec by Vince Faustini in the Bank's Montréal office.

"We have been planning our launch for some time and now that we're here and open for business, we intend to do all the things that have made Equitable a successful and growing lender over many years," said Ms. Taylor. "That means supporting the growth of the mortgage broker channel in Québec, providing competitive mortgage solutions and building a loyal client following one homeowner at a time by providing highly responsive and respectful service."

In the Greater Montréal Area, the Equitable team will concentrate on serving customers in neighbourhoods that include the entire Island of Montréal, the North Shore up to Saint-Jerome including Laval, and the South Shore communities of Longueil, Brossard, Saint-Lambert, and Boucherville including Saint-Hyacinthe. In the Gatineau Region, Equitable will service the communities of Aylmer, Buckingham, Gatineau, Hull and Masson-Angers.

ABOUT EQUITABLE BANK

Equitable Bank is a federally regulated Schedule I bank with total assets of approximately $12 billion, more than 300 skilled employees and proven capabilities in lending and deposit-taking. The Company's integrated operations are organized according to specialty. Within Equitable Bank's Core Lending business, Single Family Lending Services funds mortgages for owner-occupied and investment properties across Canada while Commercial Lending Services provides mortgages on a variety of commercial properties on a national basis. Equitable's Securitization Financing business originates and securitizes insured residential mortgages under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ("CMHC") administered National Housing Act. Equitable Bank provides savings products including Guaranteed Investment Certificates and savings accounts. Equitable Bank is a growing Canadian financial services business and a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. It was founded in 1970 as The Equitable Trust Company. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.equitablebank.ca and click on Investor Relations.

SOURCE Equitable Group Inc.

For further information: Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer, 416-515-7000