Schedule 1 banks meet capital reserve regulatory compliance deadline; now other financial institutions challenged to follow suit

    "Basel II" offers significant competitive advantage and business benefits
    to those who implement effectively

    Versabanq's Basel II-compliant asset management software set to help all
    financial institutions reap the business benefits of Basel II

    TORONTO, Nov. 27 /CNW/ - All major Canadian "Schedule 1" (or "chartered")
banks passed a significant milestone on Thursday, November 1 by becoming
"Basel II" compliant.
    Basel II is an accord that aims to create an international standard for
national banking regulators to use when setting regulations about how much
capital banks need in reserve to guard against financial and operational risks
from their lending and investment practices.
    The "Big Five" Schedule 1 chartered banks accomplished compliance
following a major, multi-year, implementation process alone equal to the
$750 million "Y2K" effort of Canada's chartered banks.(*) Now it is the turn of
other Canadian financial institutions to meet the Basel II challenge.
    Basel II compliance can deliver significant business benefits and
competitive advantage if implemented effectively. Canadian financial
institutions such as the 1,595 credit unions and caisse populaires that serve
over 10 million Canadians, trust companies, even some insurance companies and
brokerage firms, now have the opportunity to "opt in" to reap the benefits of
lower capital requirements and the business benefits of reallocating that
capital that Basel II compliance enables.
    "In theory financial institutions will benefit from adaptation of Basel
II because compliance involves implementing analysis techniques that will
increase an organization's understanding of its business, which leads to
better risk measurement, risk management and more effective decisions," said
Warren Shiau, Lead Analyst IT Research, The Strategic Counsel. "In practice,
the system investment required for Basel II and its complex risk analysis
methods can be a barrier to effective adoption at the credit union or caisse
populaire level."
    Featuring enhanced corporate risk measurement and risk management
techniques to assess and track credit and operational risk, Basel II's
adoption encourages use of more sophisticated capital-allocation and risk
management calculations, which allow even smaller financial institutions to
leverage their Basel II technology investment beyond mere compliance, and more
efficiently allocate capital to benefit the bottom line.
    London, Ontario-based financial software provider Versabanq Innovations
Inc., in response to this opportunity, offers Basel II-compliant asset
management software, Versabanq AMS (Asset Management System), a stand-alone
software product. AMS is the result of five years of continuous development
and "real-time" use by Pacific Western Bank of Canada and is well-suited to
help small and medium-sized financial institutions, such as credit unions and
others, better risk manage their complete lending portfolio, including term
loans, leases, mortgages, and other assets.
    "AMS, Versabanq's state of the art loan origination system, not only
offers financial institutions a way to readily achieve Basel II compliance and
reap the associated efficiencies, but also represents a versatile and powerful
operational upgrade to their lending software," said Neil Beaton, President,
Versabanq Innovations Inc. "Additionally, there is a significant cost savings
as Basel II compliance is achieved by virtue of this Windows-based
implementation, thereby avoiding significant additional investments and time
spent on this endeavour."
    Improved risk management of the credit decision-making process can enable
financial institutions to better evaluate new business opportunities, and
manage credit portfolios in an increased efficient and rational manner.
    As a result financial institutions can, with much greater ease, identify
the target credit exposures that provide the best return relative to risk.
Senior management is also empowered to proactively pursue business strategies
that increase deal volume and maximize profitability within the boundaries of
the institution's risk appetite.

    (*) Canadian Bankers Association, Maclean's Magazine

    About Versabanq's AMS (Asset Management System) product:

    AMS was originally custom-built to manage a wide variety of large
commercial loans and leases, but is extremely versatile and can handle
virtually any kind of lending product. As a Windows-based loan origination
system, it is very intuitive and easy to use. It is built around a clear
workflow incorporating flexible role-based securities and features extensive
reporting functionality. This, in combination with being fully Basel II
compliant, makes the application a very attractive and cost-effective solution
for small to mid-sized financial institutions.
    Visit for a demonstration of the AMS software, and
download a sample copy of AmSchedule Express, an amortization tool that is
part of Versabanq's AMS application suite.

    About Versabanq Innovations Inc.:

    Versabanq develops, markets, sells and implements software for financial
institutions. Versabanq was established in 2006 as a subsidiary of Pacific and
Western Credit Corp. (TSX: PWC), which is also the holding company for Pacific
and Western Bank of Canada.
    Pacific & Western, formerly a trust company and now a Schedule 1 bank
chartered in 2002, has extensive experience developing innovative financial
solutions for its partners and customers. Canada's first "branchless bank",
the company is predicated on a business model which leverages the latest
PC-based technologies, using custom designed software applications that are
developed in-house and have been proven in use since 2000.

For further information:

For further information: about Versabanq contact: Rick Hall, Principal,
RICK HALL PR, Direct: (416) 967-0751, Cell: (647) 219-0691,

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