High River, Alberta � December 1, 2006 (TSX � WES) – Western Financial Group (the �Company�) announced today that it intends to acquire 15 insurance offices in Northern British Columbia.
In the northeast section of B.C. the Company will acquire Geer & Spice Insurance Agencies Ltd. with three offices in Dawson Creek; Northland Insurance Services Ltd. in Fort Nelson; and J.W. Baker Insurance Agencies Inc. (three offices) and Pomeroy Insurance Services Ltd., both in Fort St. John. These acquisitions give Western Financial Group leading market share in each of these important communities where natural gas, forestry and agriculture are the key drivers of the local economy.
�These communities are vibrant centres of growth and activity in B.C.�, said Scott Tannas, President and CEO of Western Financial Group. �We are determined to build on the strong base of customers, employees and locations now established�.
In North Central B.C. the Company also intends to purchase the remaining 75% of Northcountry Insurance Agencies Ltd. (�Northcountry�) from its partners. Northcountry�s seven offices will be fully integrated into Western Financial Group�s Agency Network.
�We are very pleased to welcome the employees and customers of Northcountry to our network�, said Scott Tannas. �We have had the opportunity to be a minority owner of these offices for a year, and after learning about their operations, we know they are a wonderful fit for our group.� Northcountry Insurance offices are located in 100 Mile House, Burns Lake, Fraser Lake, Houston, Smithers, Vanderhoof and Williams Lake, B.C.
The Company anticipates the transactions will close in January 2007.
About Western Financial Group:
WFG is a leading financial services organization with a focus on �small town� Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). Since it’s initial public offering in 1996, it has created a strong regional financial services company providing more than 250,000 customers with a full range of financial products and services under a unified and recognizable brand.www.westernfinancialgroup.net
The Common Shares of Western Financial Group are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol �WES�.