Coast Capital Insurance Services Ltd. Joins the Western Financial Group Family

VANCOUVER, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Western Financial Group (Western) and Coast Capital Savings Credit Union (Coast Capital) announced today that they have reached an agreement on the sale of Coast Capital Insurance Services Ltd. (CCIS) by Coast Capital to Western. CCIS is a subsidiary of Coast Capital and currently offers property, casualty, commercial, life and disability insurance products through 32 retail insurance offices and a call centre.  The life and disability insurance business of CCIS will remain with Coast Capital.  Western is the largest and fastest growing insurance brokerage in Western Canada, and the purchase of CCIS locations across the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island will complement the 29 branches in 22 communities they currently operate throughout British Columbia.

"We're very proud to be able to bring Coast Capital Insurance Services into our family of companies. It is a tremendous organization that has the same commitment to community as we do," said Scott Tannas, President and CEO of Western. "This is the largest deal we've negotiated to date and will help us solidify our presence throughout the B.C. market. We look forward to building on the traditions of great service and community support that Coast Capital has established."

"At Coast Capital we're proud of all that our insurance subsidiary and its employees have accomplished.  When we decided to concentrate our resources on our core banking business, our goal was to find a partner who could help CCIS grow further and reach its full potential," said Tracy Redies, CEO of Coast Capital. "Coast Capital and Western have similar values and a commitment to our people, our customers and our communities. In Western, we saw a strong entrepreneurial spirit and customer service focus which we believe will help build the CCIS business, and their dedicated focus on insurance will provide more opportunities for employees.  Most importantly though, this allows  more banking and insurance services to be offered to our collective customers as we look for more opportunities to expand our businesses and serve customers in our markets."

Under the terms of the agreement between Western and Coast Capital, CCIS branches will continue to operate under the CCIS name and branding for at least two years. Western will continue to employ all of CCIS's 242 staff members while working with Coast Capital to enhance banking and insurance offerings to both Western and CCIS customers. The deal is expected to close in July 2013. 

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group (Desjardins), the largest co-operative financial group in Canada. Desjardins and Coast Capital have developed close ties over several years which were further enhanced with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in April 2013 regarding principles of co-operation to share expertise in products and services which will benefit both organizations.

"Desjardins Group welcomes this important acquisition that will reinforce Western Financial Group's leadership role in Western Canada's insurance market," said Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "This opportunity also builds on our partnership with Coast Capital Savings as we look for more opportunities to bring the great benefits of the financial services co-operative model to more Canadians."

About Western Financial Group
Western Financial Group is a western Canada based, diversified, financial services company serving more than 600,000 customers. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides insurance services through more than 120 office locations and the Internet (www.westernfinancialgroup.ca). With a skilled team of approximately 1,600 employees, and backed by the strong resources of its owners, Western is committed to building the strongest financial services company in Western Canada.

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading co-operative financial group in Canada.

About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union is Canada's largest credit union by membership with 504,000 members, total assets under administration of $14.6 billion and 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution and the country's most flexible mortgage product, the You're the Boss™ Mortgage, which was named 2010 Mortgage of the Year by canadianmortgagetrends.com. Coast Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™. It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more, visit www.coastcapitalsavings.com.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading co-operative financial group in Canada with assets over $200 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. Best Corporate Citizen in Canada for 2012 and among Canada's Top 100 Employers, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 44,942 employees and the commitment of 5,268 elected officers. Desjardins members and the general public are invited to visit Desjardins Group's education and cooperation program website at www.desjardins.com/co-opme

Forward-looking Information
Certain statements made in this news release, including, but not limited to, statements relating to the proposed acquisition by Western of the shares of CCIS and certain strategic benefits expected to result from the transaction, and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. The completion of the above-mentioned proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, the obtaining of various consents and regulatory approvals. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions contemplated in this news release. The proposed transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated.

SOURCE: Western Financial Group

For further information:

Information (for journalists only):

Western Financial Group
Eric Michalko
Manager - Sponsorships, Digital Marketing & Public Relations
Phone: (403) 652-2663, ext. 524
Cell: (403) 603-8965
Email: eric.michalko@westernfg.ca

Coast Capital Savings
Divine Agodzo Manager, Media Relations, Coast Capital Savings
Phone: (604) 517-7549
E-mail: divine.agodzo@coastcapitalsavings.com

Desjardins Group 
André Chapleau
Senior Director Media Relations
Phone: (514) 281-7229 or 1 (866)866-7000, ext. 7229
Email: media@desjardins.com


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