TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Equitable Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.C) ("Equitable" or the "Company") and a leader in providing alternative mortgage solutions, today announced it has expanded its single family lending services business throughout the Maritime provinces in response to strong demand from the mortgage broker community.
In announcing this multi-province launch, Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Equitable said: "The expansion of the Bank's operations to Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island from our Maritime home base of Halifax makes Equitable a true coast-to-coast alternative single family lender, now serving borrowers and their mortgage broker advisors in all Canadian provinces. This is an outstanding accomplishment that reflects a strategy we adopted five years ago to establish our single family lending services brand in the east and the west. We can't think of a better way to drive the last spike than to open in these Maritime markets. With our footprint established, we look forward to building our business in partnership with an Atlantic Canada mortgage broker community that shares our dedication to customer service."
Each of the Maritime communities that the Bank now serves, including St. John's, Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton and Charlottetown, derives economic strength – and property value sustainability – from public and private sector sources of employment. Each has an attractive mix of single family property types and is home to a vibrant mortgage broker community. For example, Foreign Direct Investment magazine recently named Fredericton first among North America's top 10 micro cities for economic potential and quality of life. St. John's enjoys one of the highest levels of GDP per capita of any city in Canada and is eastern Canada's oil and gas capital. Moncton is home to several prominent corporations in insurance and information technology and is a hub for surrounding communities with a total population of 1.6 million. Saint John attracts well over a million visitors a year as a major tourist destination.
"Our mortgage broker partners in the Maritimes encouraged us to take this initiative because they believe, as do we, that borrowers deserve healthy competitive choice," said Kim Kukulowicz, Vice President of Residential Sales and Partner Relations. "By bringing new options to the market, we look forward to helping borrowers realize their personal goals, whether it's buying a home or vacation property or ownership for investment purposes."
Residential single family lending is the Bank's fastest-growing lending operation. It funds first mortgages for owner-occupied and investment properties with up to four units, including detached or semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominiums.
"We're very proud to launch in centres that are widely recognized as attractive places to live, work and invest," said Brian Leland, Vice President of Residential Credit. "Our goal now is to achieve and sustain the level of customer and mortgage broker responsiveness that Equitable has become known for in other Canadian communities. Doing so will make us, over time, Atlantic Canada's mortgage lender of choice."
As a lending leader, Equitable Bank offers a suite of alternative fixed-rate, adjustable, fully open and high ratio mortgage products, all exclusively through the mortgage broker channel in Atlantic Canada and nationally. A new suite of Equitable prime mortgage products is currently debuting in Western Canada and Ontario where the Bank has a well-established presence. Over time, the Bank intends to introduce its EQB Evolution Suite™ prime products through mortgage brokers across the country.
Over the past four decades as a Canadian lender, Equitable has established itself as an important alternative source of single-family residential mortgages and is now recognized as a leader by independent mortgage brokers across the country. This leadership position was recently acknowledged in the 2014 Brokers on Lenders Survey by Canadian Mortgage Professional magazine. The magazine presented Equitable Bank with silver awards in Underwriter Support, Broker Support and BDM Support and placed Equitable among Canada's top four lenders taking into account a range of capabilities that complete the broker experience including credit, sales, funding, mortgage services, renewals, marketing and internal support systems.
The Bank's newest lending territories also include Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay, Torbay, Goulds, Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove and Portugal Cove-St. Phillip's in Newfoundland, Rothesay, Quispamsis, Riverview, Dieppe, Hanwell and New Maryland in New Brunswick, and Cornwall, Stratford and Summerside in PEI.
"Our team has done a considerable amount of research to understand the needs of the mortgage broker community in the Maritimes and the unique dynamics of each of these local property markets," said Mr. Moor, "As a result, we have gained a solid appreciation for the opportunities available and confidence that we can win over borrowers and mortgage brokers in the Maritimes by providing great service. We look forward to getting started."
About Equitable Bank
Equitable Bank is a Schedule I Bank regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada ("OSFI") with total assets under management of approximately $13.4 billion and almost 400 employees and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. The Company serves retail and commercial customers across Canada with a range of savings solutions and mortgage lending products. Measured by assets, Equitable Bank is the ninth largest independent Schedule I Bank in Canada. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.equitablebank.ca and click on Investor Relations.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements made by the Company in this news release, in other filings with Canadian securities regulators and in other communications include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company's objectives, strategies and initiatives, financial result expectations and other statements made herein, whether with respect to the Company's businesses or the Canadian economy. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "planned", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases which state that certain actions, events or results "may" , "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved." Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, closing of transactions, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to risks related to capital markets and additional funding requirements, fluctuating interest rates and general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory developments, the nature of our customers and rates of default, and competition as well as those factors discussed under the heading "Risk Management" in the Management's Discussion and Analysis and in the Company's documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All material assumptions used in making forward-looking statements are based on management's knowledge of current business conditions and expectations of future business conditions and trends, including their knowledge of the current credit, interest rate and liquidity conditions affecting the Company and the Canadian economy. Although the Company believes the assumptions used to make such statements are reasonable at this time and has attempted to identify in its continuous disclosure documents important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Certain material assumptions are applied by the Company in making forward-looking statements, including without limitation, assumptions regarding its continued ability to fund its mortgage business at current levels, a continuation of the current level of economic uncertainty that affects real estate market conditions, continued acceptance of its products in the marketplace, as well as no material changes in its operating cost structure and the current tax regime. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE: Equitable Group Inc.
For further information: Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer, 416-515-7000