EDMONTON, May 17 /CNW/ - ATB Financial, Alberta's biggest financial
institution, announced today that it will support customers affected by
the massive Slave Lake wildfire by deferring payments on their loans
for a year.
The major new deferral program is available starting today to any ATB
customer in Slave Lake whose home was destroyed or damaged in the fire,
whose business was affected, or who lost their job as a result of the
"Our hearts go out to everyone in Slave Lake. It's a devastating time
for them, but ATB knows firsthand about Albertans' spirits and
characters and we know they'll work hard to get back on their feet,"
said Chuck McConnell, an ATB vice-president whose north region includes
Slave Lake. "We hope people in Slave Lake see this both as a gesture of
support, and something tangible that gives our customers some
flexibility and understanding as they rebuild their lives,"
The residential mortgage deferral program automatically applies to those
whose homes were damaged or destroyed, but ATB will offer the same
flexibility to customers who determine they could use the relief even
though their properties weren't hit by the fire, McConnell said.
"This disaster touched everyone in Slave Lake. It's a major regional
economic centre, and it'll affect everyone to different degrees. Some
of our customers might not have lost their homes or their jobs, but
perhaps they'll feel different effects as the community rebuilds. We
want to be there for them, too, as we're there for all Albertans
regardless of busts or booms, good times or bad."
ATB has more than 500 customers with loans in Slave Lake. Though its
Slave Lake branch was not burned in the fire, ATB doesn't yet know
whether the branch was damaged or when it'll reopen. In the interim,
Slave Lake customers who want to discuss the new deferral program can
call a special number at ATB's Customer Contact Centre at
For their other banking needs, Slave Lake customers can use the regular
Contact Centre number (1-800-332-8383) or any of ATB's branches or
agencies, including branches in Westlock and Athabasca, where many of
the fire evacuees gathered.
ATB's 15 branch staff in Slave Lake are all safe and accounted for, and
ATB is helping all with financial support. ATB has also made a donation
through the Canadian Red Cross to help our friends and neighbours in
Slave Lake and encourages associates and customers to do the same.
SOURCE ATB Financial
For further information:
Barry Strader, ATB Financial
(780) 886-4398 (cell); (780) 495-1343 (office)