Equity Financial Holdings Inc

Equity Financial Holdings Inc

March 02, 2011 15:53 ET

Equity Financial Holdings Inc. Announces Launch of Mortgage and Deposit Business

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Equity Financial Holdings Inc. (TSX:EQI) ("EQI" or "the Corporation"), a Canadian financial services company serving the corporate and institutional market, is pleased to announce that the Superintendant of Financial Institutions has amended the Order to Commence and Carry on Business of the Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary, Equity Financial Trust Company ("EFT") to permit EFT to take deposits. EFT has concurrently become a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. This change in regulatory status is effective immediately.

This fulfills the plans first announced by the Corporation in January 2010 for EFT to seek regulatory approval to become a deposit-taking institution ("DTI") in order to enter the growing field of residential mortgage lending. Since that time, EFT has taken steps to leverage its existing infrastructure, hired key personnel to support the mortgage and deposit operations, developed and tested new processes and systems and enhanced its risk management, compliance and control structures. With the receipt of DTI status, EFT will immediately begin accepting applications for alternative residential mortgages, a segment which the Corporation believes is currently underserved by existing lenders, but which is estimated to comprise between 5 and 10% of the total Canadian mortgage market. EFT will be accepting mortgage applications and deposits through select mortgage brokers and securities dealers, respectively.

EQI President & CEO Paul G. Smith said, "EQI's strategic plan calls for growth through diversification into financial services that are adjacent and complementary to the Corporation's existing operations. This plan has just achieved a significant step forward. By leveraging EFT's regulatory status, trust charter, financial, and technology infrastructure, the Corporation believes that EFT's newly-acquired DTI status has the potential to create significant shareholder value."

Nick Kyprianou, CEO of EFT said, "The achievement of DTI status is a significant milestone. We have worked very hard over the past year to put the infrastructure in place to provide a solid foundation for our new business. EFT is confident that it will be able to launch and operate a successful and profitable mortgage and deposit operation."

About Equity Financial Holdings Inc.

Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, EQI provides transfer agent, corporate trust, corporate secretarial and foreign exchange services to corporations in North American capital markets. The Corporation's Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2010 can be found in the Corporation's filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Corporation's website at www.equityfinancialholdings.com.

This press release and other disclosure documents of the Corporation contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, which is also referred to as "forward-looking statements", which may not be based on historical fact. Wherever possible, words such as "will", "plans," "expects," "estimates," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "may," and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results "may," "could," "would," "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, have been used to identify forward-looking information. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, the Corporation's EBITDA and earnings expectations for EFT's mortgage and deposit business, fee income, expense levels, general economic, political and market factors in North America and internationally, interest and foreign exchange rates, global equity and capital markets, business competition, technological change, changes in government regulations, unexpected judicial or regulatory proceedings, catastrophic events, and the Corporation's ability to complete strategic transactions and integrate acquisitions and other factors. Such statements reflect the Corporation's current views with respect to future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Prospective investors and others should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, as they reflect the Corporation's current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, regulatory, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies.

Many factors could cause the Corporation's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including among others a significant downturn in capital markets or the economy as a whole, errors or omissions by the Corporation in providing services to its customers, significant changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates or the cost of complying with applicable regulatory requirements, inability to raise funds through public or private financing to execute its business plan, the failure of borrowers or counterparties to honour their financial or contractual obligations to EFT, failure by EFT to adequately monitor and/or adjust its mortgage portfolio management practices for changing circumstances, failure by the Corporation to attract and to retain the necessary employees to meet its needs, failure by EFT to secure sufficient deposits from investment advisors or deposit brokers or a sufficient level of mortgage origination from its mortgage broker network, a failure of the computer systems of the Corporation or one or more of its service providers or the risks detailed from time-to-time in the Corporation's quarterly filings, annual information forms, annual reports and annual filings with securities regulators. Forward-looking information will be updated as required pursuant to the requirements of applicable securities laws.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

Contact Information

  • Equity Financial Holdings Inc.
    Paul G. Smith
    President & CEO
    (416) 361-0152
    Equity Financial Trust Company
    Nick Kyprianou
    (416) 361-0152