OSFI Approves Canada’s First Privately Held Bank

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EDMONTON, April 15, 2005 – The Office of the Superintendent of Financial
Institutions has granted the General Bank of Canada a Canadian Bank Charter.
Ralph Goodale, Minister of Finance, signed the Letters Patent incorporating
the General Bank of Canada as a Schedule A Bank on April 12, 2005. The bank
anticipates commencing business as a CDIC insured bank within the next
90 days. Under Canada’s new bank ownership rules enacted in 2001, the General
Bank of Canada will be the first privately held Canadian Chartered Bank not
owned by either a publicly traded corporation or credit union.

The General Bank of Canada is owned by the Wheaton Group of Companies,
the largest General Motors franchised dealer network in Canada. The
incorporation of a bank further expands the financial services of the Group
which currently owns a regulated life company, First Canadian Insurance
Corporation, and a property and casualty company, Millennium Insurance

For more information about OSFI, visit www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca