High River, Alberta – May 22, 2007 (TSX – WES) – Western Financial Group Inc. (“the Company”) announced today that it plans to acquire Ubiquity Bank of Canada (“Ubiquity”) from Prospera Credit Union. Immediately after closing of the acquisition, Ubiquity would be amalgamated with Bank West. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory review and approval by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, and the Minister of Finance (Canada).
Ubiquity Bank, which received its charter in December 2002, is a Canadian Chartered bank based in Abbottsford British Columbia, specializing in personal and commercial term mortgages and loans, through a network of intermediaries primarily in western Canada. The Company plans to combine the loan portfolio of Ubiquity Bank with its Bank West operation, providing an estimated additional $125 million of assets to its current Bank West portfolio.
“Ubiquity Bank’s portfolio is an excellent fit for us,” said Doug Foster, President & CEO of Bank West. “We have been looking for an acquisition with the same product types as Bank West, which will provide us with additional scale and enhance our profitability.”
Because of the similar product types and distribution relationships between these two banks, the acquisition will be fully absorbed into Bank West’s operating platform. Current Ubiquity staff members will be reassigned duties within Prospera, leaving Bank West to add the Ubiquity portfolio with minimal additional overhead.
Subject to regulatory approval, the Company expects the acquisition will close in early fall 2007.
Western Financial Group is one of the leading western-based financial service companies in Western Canada. With offices in towns and small cities across the West, the Company provides more than 350,000 individuals and businesses with insurance, investment and banking products through WFG Agency Network, Western Life, and Bank West. www.westernfinancialgroup.netTags: Acquisition, Western Financial Group