Equitable Bank Invests in Vancouver with Expanded Lending Operations and Prime Mortgage Services

VANCOUVER, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Equitable Bank, a subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.C), today announced the opening of its Vancouver regional office to support its expanding operations as part of its long-term strategy to become the Lower Mainland's branchless bank of choice.

"Equitable Bank has served single family residential borrowers and their mortgage agents/brokers in the Lower Mainland for the past five years. As an alternative lender experiencing growing demands, it's now time for us to enhance our commitment to the market," said Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Accordingly, we've opened a regional office dedicated to Single Family Lending Services that houses our underwriting and sales team. We've also expanded our product suite with the introduction of the Equitable Bank evolution suite™ of prime mortgages. By enhancing the Bank's presence and products, we are expanding our effectiveness and commitment to providing outstanding service to our broker network."

Equitable Bank's new downtown regional office, based at 1240-777 Hornby Street, is led by Ian Silvester, Manager of Residential Mortgage Underwriting, who was the Bank's first Vancouver-based employee. The team now includes Regional Business Managers Tanya Leopold and Anna Yuen as well as the alternative mortgage team of Jason Cheng, Residential Underwriter and Mortgage Officers Jeffrey Faesen and Bing Ng. The prime mortgage team currently includes Mortgage Officers Natalie Wheeler and Andrea Cejalvo handling the evolution suite of products.

"Since 2010, our Calgary office has provided the underwriting support to the British Columbia region," said Mr. Silvester. "Collectively, our team in Vancouver brings over 75 years of residential underwriting experience to what has become, in just a short time, one of Equitable Bank's top producing single family lending markets."

With a suite of alternative fixed rate, adjustable, fully open and high-ratio mortgages, Equitable is one of Canada's top two alternative single family lenders. It is known coast to coast by mortgage brokers for its responsiveness in serving business-for-self borrowers, real estate investors and newcomers to Canada who need capital to acquire owner-occupied and investment properties with up to four units, including detached and semi-detached homes, townhouses and condominiums. 

Prime Mortgages

As a result of today's announcement, the Lower Mainland becomes one of the first markets in Canada for Equitable Bank's Prime Mortgage business. Launched in late 2014 in Toronto and Calgary, this business offers traditional one- to five-year fixed and three and five-year adjustable prime mortgages with interest rates that are among the most competitive of all Schedule I banks.

"The introduction of our Prime mortgage suite means that single family borrowers and mortgage brokers in the Lower Mainland can now look beyond Canada's Big Six to a bank that takes a decidedly more service-oriented approach to doing business," said Martin Beaudry, Director, Prime Residential Mortgages Underwriting. "As a Bank that competes without branches, our success as a lender rests squarely on service excellence, which makes us different and we believe more responsive to our customers whether they are shopping for a prime or alternative mortgage."

Equitable continues to focus on urban and suburban markets across Canada with a wider range of choices for the borrower and a consistent approach to delivering a high level of service. The Bank lends across the Lower Mainland from West Vancouver to Chilliwack plus the regions of Nanaimo, and Greater Victoria. With a combined population of close to three million and an economy that features diversified public and private sector employment, the region is one of Canada's most sought-after destinations for migration and immigration.

"Our lending areas continue to be an important market for the Bank," said Kim Kukulowicz, Vice-President, Residential Sales and Partner Relations. "Equitable's underwriting team on the ground has a strong understanding of the unique dynamics of the local real estate market that will result in enhanced levels of customer experience. Most importantly, this allows us to partner more closely with mortgage brokers who share our desire to offer British Columbia residents the best mortgage services and solutions," added Ms. Kukulowicz.

About Equitable Bank
Equitable Bank is a diversified financial institution that operates coast to coast providing residential (prime and alternative) single family lending services, commercial lending services and a variety of savings solutions including high-interest savings products and GICs for individual Canadians. Since its founding in 1970, Equitable has grown to become Canada's ninth largest independent Schedule I Bank and a recognized service leader through its proven branchless banking approach. For more information, visit the Bank's website at and click on Investor Relations.

SOURCE Equitable Group Inc.

For further information: Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer, 416-515-7000; Tim Wilson, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 416-515-7000
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