Unique Manulife One mortgage now available with only 10 per cent down

Manulife Bank first to offer ‘high-ratio’ secured line of credit to Canadians

WATERLOO, ON, July 15, 2003 – Consumers with high-ratio mortgages can now take advantage of the most innovative mortgage product in Canada. Manulife One, the first flexible mortgage account in Canada, is now available to mortgage holders and new homebuyers with as little as 10 per cent down payment.

“Not only is Manulife One a relatively new and exciting concept, the introduction of a ‘high-ratio’ secured line of credit is entirely new for the Canadian marketplace,” says J. Roman Fedchyshyn, President and CEO of Manulife Bank of Canada.

Unique mortgage available to more Canadians

Manulife One was introduced in late 1999 for conventional mortgage holders – those with 25 per cent or more equity in their homes. The account is much more than a typical home equity line of credit because it combines a homeowner’s chequing and savings accounts with their mortgage. The result – every time income is deposited to the account, it is applied against the outstanding balance of their mortgage until cash is needed. Over the years, this flow of income through the account could save thousands of dollars in interest costs and pay off the mortgage years sooner.

High-ratio mortgages are those with less than 25 per cent paid toward the value of the home. These mortgages are required by law to be “insured” — to protect the lender who is advancing a high-ratio mortgage. As a result, mortgage holders need to pay an insurance premium to provide this protection.

“Until now, there was no mortgage loan insurance available to cover this unique type of mortgage product,” Mr. Fedchyshyn noted. “CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) announced effective June 2, 2003, mortgage loan insurance coverage for lines of credit secured by a collateral mortgage on the borrower’s principal residence, for up to 90 per cent of the value of their home. As a result, Manulife One is now available to a broader market. This means, more Canadians – especially those who could benefit most – can now potentially save thousands on their mortgage interest costs.”

“What’s more, because Manulife One is marketed through a network of advisors and Banking Consultants, consumers have the advantage of always dealing with knowledgeable specialists – on their time, and, if they wish, in their home.”

Also benefits those in smaller communities

Previously, homeowners in smaller Canadian communities with less than 40 per cent equity in their home were not eligible for a Manulife One account. Now they too can take advantage of this unique home equity line of credit. “By paying an insurance premium, they can increase their borrowing limit to as much as 90 per cent. This up-front premium can be added directly to the amount being borrowed,” says Mr. Fedchyshyn.

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$141.6 billion as at March 31, 2003.

Manulife Financial established Manulife Bank in 1993 as the first federally regulated bank to be opened by a life insurance company following Canada’s financial reform legislation of 1992. Manulife Bank provides innovative deposit and loan products to help individuals make the most of their financial plan.

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 www.manulife.com.

About CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) is the Government of Canada’s national housing agency and is the market leader in the provision of mortgage loan insurance and mortgage securitization products in Canada. CMHC has been at the forefront of helping Canadians access financing for their homes for over half a century, and continues to do so through the introduction of innovative mortgage insurance products. CMHC also supports the housing market by being the key Canadian source of reliable and objective housing information; participates in assisted housing initiatives; and supports and promotes the export of Canadian housing products and expertise abroad.