Socially responsible investing on the rise in Canada

    Than $1.2 Million Raised To Date

    National Bank Financial's Little Giants Day on November 20th aims to
    raise more than $650,000

    TORONTO, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - In honour of Canada's National Child Day,
National Bank Financial wants to demonstrate how the Canadian investment
community uses market forces to achieve socially responsible objectives in
Canada. Institutional clients across the country will once again be asked to
support Little Giants Day on November 20. National Bank Financial intends to
raise more than $650,000 for Canadian youth. This would bring the total
proceeds raised for the three editions of Little Giants Day to over
$1.8 million.
    According to Canada's Social Investment Organization, assets invested
based on socially responsible guidelines have increased significantly in
recent years, from $65 billion in 2004 to $503 billion in 2006. This reflects
a deeper understanding within the Canadian financial community of the
relationship between social and environmental issues and investment risk and
    In 2006, a survey conducted by National Bank Financial revealed that the
majority of clients were interested to learn more about socially responsible
investing (SRI) in order to reconcile their values with their investments.
Since then, the firm's investment advisors have been working with clients in
this area via a number of SRI-oriented mutual funds and a dedicated mandate
within its Ambassador Portfolio Service.
    "We believe that social responsibility is a theme that will be subscribed
to by an increasingly large number of investors going forward," said Michel
Falk, Executive Vice President, Individual Investor Services at National Bank
Financial. "Our firm has a dedicated SRI committee in place to help clients
'vote with their money' by investing in companies that espouse the values that
are most important to them."

    Changing Lives through Microfinance

    Inspired by the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the firm organized its
first Little Giants trading day in May 2005 to help to pull a Sri Lankan
school out of the wreckage and turn it into a model for the future, supported
by micro-credit programs for the women of the village. The firm has since
become one of the most committed financial institutions in the country when it
comes to leveraging market forces to invest in children's futures.
    National Bank Financial partnered with the Canadian-based children's
charity Free The Children - the world's largest network of children helping
children through education - to implement these programs. All 125 women
involved in the micro-credit program now have a stable and sustainable source
of income and contribute significantly to rebuilding their families, community
and economy in the aftermath of the tsunami. This increased income has been
translated into greater quantity and quality of food for their families and in
ensuring that the women's children remain enrolled in school.
    Before becoming a beneficiary of the program, Mrs. Selvarajah struggled
at subsistence level with a meagre household income of barely $2.00 a day.
Today, she earns an average of $9.00 each day through the food processing
business she started with the loan provided by National Bank Financial. "For
the first time, I feel that I can accomplish anything. It is a new beginning
for me. I am so thankful to National Bank Financial and all those who made
this program possible," Said Mrs. Selvarajah.

    A Call to Action on November 20th

    National Bank Financial calls on all institutional investors to reaffirm
their support for this important initiative and take part in the 2007 edition
of Little Giants Day on Canada's National Child Day next week.
    "We believe that every child has the potential to make a gigantic
difference in the world, which is why our firm has agreed to forego all net
institutional commissions on November 20th to inspire and empower our 'Little
Giants' to change the world," said Gerry Throop, Executive Vice President and
Managing Director, Global Institutional Equities at National Bank Financial.
"We would like to thank these institutional investors for helping us make a
tangible difference in the lives of so many women and children around the

    About National Bank Financial

    National Bank Financial is a leading Canadian full-service investment
bank, with origins dating back to 1902. National Bank Financial has over 3,600
employees with offices and operations in Canada, Switzerland, the US, and the
United Kingdom. The firm offers financial services and products to private and
publicly owned corporations and institutional investors, individual investors
and government agencies. National Bank Financial has 86 retail offices across
Canada and is the dominant provider of third party brokerage services in the

For further information:

For further information: Megan Spoore, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416)
848-1383,; Roch Landriault, NATIONAL Public Relations,
(514) 843-2345,

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