Manulife Bank launches Business Advantage Account

High-interest account to help businesses earn more

WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 22, 2003 – Manulife Bank today announced the launch of their Business Advantage Account, a high-interest investment account designed to help Canadian businesses earn income on their short-term cash.

The account features a premium rate of interest on every dollar (currently 2.55%)(1) and allows accountholders to easily transfer money to and from their operating account online or over the phone. Unlike other business investment accounts, there’s no minimum deposit and accountholders can pay bills and write cheques.

“Our research shows that Canadian business owners don’t have many attractive options for making their short-term cash grow while keeping it easily accessible,” says J. Roman Fedchyshyn, President and CEO of Manulife Bank. “Business Advantage Account allows all of their short-term cash to earn a great rate of interest and allows them to access their money in a number of ways whenever it’s needed.”

Manulife Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial, has been providing Canadians with innovative banking products through financial advisors for more than 10 years. “Many Canadians already rely on their financial advisors to help them choose the best investment and insurance products so it’s a natural progression for them to also seek their advisor’s help when choosing the best banking products,” says Fedchyshyn.

Business Advantage Account joins Manulife Bank’s suite of premium banking products that includes Advantage Account, a high-interest full-access chequing account for individual Canadians, and Manulife One, Canada’s first all-in-one mortgage, chequing account and line of credit.

“We’re committed to offering Canadians innovative, high-quality banking products,” says Fedchyshyn. “Our combination of great interest rates, low fees, innovative features and expert advice from financial advisors has proven highly popular with individual Canadians. And now, with Business Advantage Account, we can extend this tremendous value proposition to Canadian businesses.”

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$144.3 billion as at June 30, 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

(1) As of October 1, 2003, variable annual interest rate of 2.55% is applied to all funds in the account, interest is calculated on the total daily closing balance and paid monthly. Rate is subject to change.