Western Financial Group Inc. introduces Dividend Reinvestment Plan

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/

HIGH RIVER, AB, March 18 /CNW/ - Western Financial Group Inc. (TSX: WES) ("Western") today announced the introduction of a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the "Plan"). The Plan will enable eligible holders of Western's Common Shares and First Preferred Shares, to have their regular cash dividends automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares of Western. No commissions, service charges or brokerage fees will be payable by Plan participants in connection with shares purchased under the Plan.

Computershare Trust Company of Canada has been appointed as the Plan Agent and will act on behalf of Plan participants to invest eligible dividends. Under the Plan, Western shall determine whether the additional Common Shares are issued by Western from treasury or purchased in the open market. Additional Common Shares issued from treasury will be issued at a price equal to the weighted average closing price of the Common Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on the ten trading days preceding the dividend payment date. Western also has the option of issuing such Common Shares at a discount.

At this time, Western has elected to issue Common Shares from treasury, at a 5% discount from the price set out above, until such time as Western elects otherwise. Should Western elect to have the Plan Agent purchase Common Shares on the Canadian open market, shares will be purchased equal to the average price for which Common Shares where acquired through the Canadian open market.

The full text of the Plan and enrollment forms are now available at www.westernfinancialgroup.ca/Content/shareholderinformation and on the website of the Plan Agent, Computershare Trust Company of Canada, through its Investor Centre web portal at www.computershare.com/investorcentrecanada. Alternatively, shareholders can contact the Plan Agent at the address below. Registered shareholders wishing to participate in the Plan must read and complete a Reinvestment Enrollment - Participation Declaration Form and deliver it to the Plan Agent at the following address:

    
    COMPUTERSHARE TRUST COMPANY OF CANADA
    100 University Avenue, 9th Floor
    Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Y1
    Phone: 1-800-564-6253
    www.computershare.com
    

Beneficial shareholders who hold their shares through a nominee, such as a broker or investment dealer, should inquire about enrolment through their nominee.

Common Shares may be purchased under the DRIP commencing with the following cash dividends payable:

    
    -   on April 15, 2010 to holders of Common Shares of record on March 31,
        2010;
    -   on July 15, 2010 to holders of First Preferred Shares, series two of
        record on June 30, 2010;
    -   on June 15, 2010 to holders of First Preferred Shares, series three
        of record on June 1, 2010;
    -   on June 15, 2010 to holders of First Preferred Shares, series four of
        record on June 1, 2010; and
    -   on October 15, 2010 to holders of First Preferred Shares, series five
        of record on September 30, 2010.
    

Before participating, all shareholders are advised to read the complete text of the Plan and to consult their financial advisors regarding potential investment risks and tax implications. At present, only Canadian residents may participate in the Plan.

The outstanding common shares, First Preferred Shares, Series Two, First Preferred Shares, Series Three, First Preferred Shares, Series Four and First Preferred Shares, Series Five are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols "WES", "WES.PR.D", "WES.PR.A", "WES.PR.B" and "WES.PR.C", respectively.

This press release is not for distribution to any United States news services or otherwise in the United States.

SOURCE Western Financial Group

For further information: For further information: on Western Financial Group, please visit www.westernfinancialgroup.ca, or contact: Arlene Beggs, Assistant to the President, Western Financial Group, (403) 652-2663, info@westernfg.ca


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