Record loan growth in challenged economy highlights ATB Financial's fiscal year



    EDMONTON, May 27 /CNW/ - Record loan results - particularly in its
Alberta business portfolio - highlighted a fiscal year that saw ATB Financial
("ATB") substantially grow its business in spite of the downturn in Alberta's
economy.
    ATB reported net income of $6.4 million in 2008-09. Net income was $231.2
million before a provision for potential losses on ATB's holdings of
asset-backed commercial paper ("ABCP") of $224.8 million. This compares to net
income last year of $30.0 million, or $283.1 million before ABCP.
    Gross loans grew by a record $3.2 billion to $22.8 billion, a
16.2-per-cent increase from 2007-08. ATB continued to fulfill its role as a
trusted partner of Alberta businesses, as business loans jumped to
approximately $9.0 billion, a 21.9-per-cent increase. Total personal and
business deposits rose a record $3.2 billion, or 17.8 per cent, to
approximately $21.0 billion.
    "There has been a lot of talk about a 'credit crunch', but our results
from the past year show that we are more committed than ever to helping
Albertans and Alberta businesses," said ATB President and CEO Dave Mowat. "We
produced outstanding loan and deposit results in one of the most challenging
economic environments in recent history. That is something our 5,000
associates take enormous pride in, because it is tangible proof of how hard
they are working to put Albertans first."
    In spite of record loan and deposit growth, net income excluding ABCP was
down 18.3 per cent, which reflects the impact of decreases in the prime
lending rate, Canada's competitive deposit market, and increased operating
expenses. Operating revenue, excluding ABCP, was $907.0 million, up 7.3 per
cent from last year.
    As part of the Pan-Canadian Investors Committee, ATB played a major role
in the restructuring of ABCP, which was completed in January 2009 and
converted notes from short-term to longer-term instruments maturing in six to
nine years. ATB will continue to revalue its ABCP holdings quarterly until
maturity.
    "The fact that we have remained profitable while absorbing two
consecutive years of substantial provisions related to ABCP speaks to the
strength and stability of our organization," Mowat said.
    "With record loan and deposit growth, increased customer satisfaction
scores and record associate engagement scores, ATB associates stepped up their
performance when it was really needed."
    Mowat noted that ATB's 5,000 associates met performance targets in
2008-09 and will be paid performance pay, though senior executives'
performance pay will be adjusted as a result of ATB's decrease in net income.
    In view of ATB's net income forecast for 2009-10, performance pay will be
reduced by at least 25 per cent for associates and at least 50 per cent for
senior executives.
    "The resilience and resourcefulness of our customers and our associates
is quite amazing. 2009-10 will not be an easy year, but Albertans have a
persistent streak that always seems to carry them through," Mowat said.

    
    Operational Highlights
    ----------------------
    

    Personal and Business Financial Services (PBFS) - ATB's largest line of
business includes branches and agencies throughout Alberta. Assets, primarily
consisting of loans, grew $1.6 billion, or 10.6 per cent, over the last year.
Operating revenue increased by $16.6 million, or 2.8 per cent. PBFS opened
seven new branches in Alberta in 2008-09, including the first branch opened by
a major financial institution on an Alberta post-secondary campus, at SAIT
Polytechnic.

    Corporate Financial Services (CFS) - This line of business provides
services to Alberta's mid- and senior-market companies in three sub-lines -
Energy, Commercial, and Food & Forestry. CFS's assets grew $1.5 billion, or
37.2 per cent over the last year. Operating revenue increased last year by
$36.6 million, or 37.2 per cent.

    ATB Investor Services (IS) - This line of business is responsible for
growing and protecting wealth for more than 47,000 customers. At year-end,
client assets under management and administration were $3.9 billion, down
$159.2 million from last year. Operating revenue decreased by $4.7 million, or
10.2 per cent from last year. In 2008-09, IS was rated No. 1 in client
satisfaction in Alberta versus the Big Five banks.

    ATB in the Community - ATB's associates contributed more than $2.5
million through a combination of charitable donations, fundraising and
volunteer time. Highlights included associate-led campaigns for the United Way
(through which ATB raised a record of over $611,000), STARS Air Ambulance,
Habitat for Humanity, and its Teddy for a Toonie Campaign, through which a
record $630,000 was raised for the Stollery and Alberta Children's Hospital
foundations. ATB is also an active sponsor of a wide range of community events
and organizations.

    About ATB Financial - ATB Financial is the largest Alberta-based
financial institution, with assets of $26.5 billion. It provides Personal and
Business Financial Services, Investor Services, and Corporate Financial
Services to more than 670,000 Albertans in 244 communities. It provides
service through 164 branches and 133 agencies, telephone and Internet banking,
a Customer Contact Centre, and Automated Banking Machines. ATB Financial was
established in 1938 and has been a provincial Crown corporation since 1997.
This year, it was named one of Canada's 50 Best Employers by Report on
Business Magazine, one of the 75 Best Workplaces in Canada by the Great Place
to Work Institute, and one of Alberta's Top 40 Employers by Mediacorp Canada
Inc.
    For complete year-end financial results, please visit www.atb.com





For further information:

For further information: Shawn Ohler, Director of External and Media
Relations, ATB Financial, (780) 913-8905 (cell), (780) 408-6529 (office),
e-mail: sohler@atb.com


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