Western Financial Group Requests Opportunity to Acquire Community Savings Credit Union

HIGH RIVER, AB, March 6 2008 – (TSX – WES) – Western Financial Group (the Company) announced today that it intends to submit a proposal to acquire the assets and liabilities of Community Savings & Credit Union (Community Savings) of Red Deer, Alberta. Community Savings is the second largest credit union in Alberta, with assets of $2.72 billion.

[HIGH RIVER, AB, March 10, 2008 – Western Financial Group announced today its disappointment with the news that the Board of Directors of Community Savings Credit Union had decided not to place its Proposal on the agenda of their March 18, 2008 shareholder meeting. The proposal included an offer by a subsidiary of the company, Bank West, to acquire CU for approximately $345 million in cash, shares and payments to members.]

Scott Tannas, President & CEO of Western Financial Group said: “We have informed the Board of Directors of Community Savings of our pending proposal and requested that it be placed on the agenda at their Special Meeting on March 18, 2008. This Special Meeting has already been called for the purpose of approving a merger proposal that involves Community Savings and two other Alberta-based credit unions. Our proposal, which has not yet been placed on the March 18th agenda, is a strong alternative to the merger currently under consideration.”

Mr. Tannas added: “Our proposal contains significant benefits to the 110,000 members and 625 employees of Community Savings.”

It includes:

  • A significant cash windfall for each and every Community Savings member, as a result of a significant valuation premium over the current merger proposal;
  • 100% job security for the hard working employees of Community Savings, both in Head Office and in all 30 branches;
  • Complete preservation of the products, prices, service levels and branches that exist today. Under the Bank West banner, Community Savings members will not notice any change in the excellent service and operations that they enjoy today across the network.

“There are a great number of similarities between our organizations,” said Tannas. “We are in many of the same towns and cities, we have the same community based values and culture, and we estimate that 20% of Community Savings members are already insurance customers of Western Financial Group,” he said.

The submission will detail the terms and conditions of the proposed transaction and will include Federal and Provincial regulatory approvals, the shareholder approval of both organizations, and approval of a comprehensive financing plan.

Western Financial Group is a leader in providing insurance, financial services and banking services in over 80 communities, to more than 400,000 individuals and businesses in Western Canada through its WFG Agency Network locations, its affiliated insurance brokers, Western Life Assurance Company and Bank West. www.westernfinancialgroup.net