Manulife Bank raises rate to 3.05 per cent on Advantage Account

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WATERLOO, ON, April 17, 2003 – Manulife Bank of Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial, has increased the interest rate to 3.05 per cent, an increase of 55 basis points, for its Advantage Account — a full-access, high-interest bank account. This market-leading account allows investors to earn significant interest on their short-term savings with easy access to their money.

“The growing number of new high-interest bank accounts in the market certainly acknowledges what we’ve known for years — clients deserve to earn real interest on their savings,” said J. Roman Fedchyshyn, Manulife Bank of Canada President and Chief Executive Officer. “Yet, with more choice comes greater confusion around which ‘high-interest’ account is the best, given that some accounts charge high transaction fees or make it difficult for clients to access their money. Our market advantage is our ongoing commitment to give clients a high rate of interest plus access to their money whenever they need it.”

Offered primarily through financial advisors, the Manulife Bank Advantage Account illustrates that a chequing account can be an important short-term investment. Historically, Canadians have been complacent when it comes to changing the way they conduct their day-to-day finances, but many are now realizing the potential earning power of their bank accounts.

“More and more, Canadians are looking at the interest they’re earning — or rather, not earning on their bank accounts, and asking themselves if they could be doing better,” said Mr. Fedchyshyn.

“Manulife Bank’s Advantage Account allows them to earn interest similar to or better than a Money Market Fund and still enjoy unrestricted access to their money.”

The high-interest bank account market is still growing in popularity throughout the country as more Canadians learn about, and take advantage of alternatives to traditional personal financial arrangements.

“High-interest accounts represent a tremendous value to Canadians, and Manulife Bank is committed to remaining at the forefront of this market by offering the best combination of high rates, easy access, and low fees,” said Mr. Fedchyshyn.

Manulife Bank was the first federally regulated bank opened by a life insurance company in Canada.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 15 countries and territories worldwide. Through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners, Manulife Financial offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. Funds under management by Manulife Financial were Cdn$146.2 billion as at December 31, 2002.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as “MFC” on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under “0945” on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

Footnote: As at April 17, 2003, variable annual interest on the Advantage Account is 3.05 per cent. Interest is calculated on the total daily closing balance and paid monthly. The 3.05 per cent interest rate also applies to Registered Advantage Account, Advantage Account for businesses, and Manulife One account positive balances. Rate is subject to change.