Equitable completes financing with Canadian Western Bank; augments regulatory capital to support growth



    TSX Symbol: ETC

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Equitable Group Inc. today announced that it
has completed more than half of its planned $40 million Subordinated Debenture
Series 7 offering with the completion of a $12.5 million financing from
Canadian Western Bank.
    Proceeds of the financing will be used to expand the regulatory capital
base and support additional growth in Equitable Group's wholly-owned
subsidiary, The Equitable Trust Company. Subordinated Debentures are
considered eligible for Tier 2 regulatory capital by the Office of the
Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
    "We are delighted with the reception to our Series 7 Subordinated
Debenture program," said Andrew Moor, Equitable President and Chief Executive
Officer. "After just two months since its release, we are already more than
half way towards our objective for the full year. This financing is an
integral part of our 2007 capital plan and will support continued profitable
growth in assets while preserving our balance sheet strength - and all without
dilution for our shareholders."
    Added Stephen Coffey, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer:
"We have employed this same method of capital fundraising in the past and have
found it to be both efficient and effective. Consequently, we expect to raise
the entire amount, or $40 million, in an orderly manner as the year
progresses. This financing will assist us in achieving an optimal blend of
Tier 1 and Tier 2 regulatory capital with the objective of enhancing return on
equity."

    About Equitable Group Inc.

    Equitable Group Inc. provides first mortgage financing through its
wholly-owned subsidiary, The Equitable Trust Company. It also offers
Guaranteed Investment Certificates to depositors as a nationally-licensed
deposit-taking institution. Equitable Trust was founded in 1970, and by
following a prudent, results-driven approach, Equitable has become a leader in
its primary niches: alternative single family dwelling as well as multi-unit
residential mortgage lending. The common shares of Equitable Group Inc. are
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol of "ETC". For
more information visit www.equitablegroupinc.com.

    Notice to Readers

    Certain forward-looking statements are made in this news release,
including statements regarding possible future business, financing and growth
objectives. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's
periodic reports filed with Canadian regulatory authorities. Many factors
could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially
different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Equitable Group Inc.
does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, oral or written,
made by itself or on its behalf.

    %SEDAR: 00020356E




For further information:

For further information: Andrew Moor, (416) 515-7000; Stephen Coffey,
(416) 515-7000


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