ATB Financial supports Slave Lake with major new loan deferral program

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 disaster.

"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 1-888-404-4646.

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)

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