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Press release from CNW Group

Equitable Trust opens for business in Nova Scotia, achieves coast-to-coast mortgage lending goal

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Equitable Trust opens for business in Nova Scotia, achieves coast-to-coast mortgage lending goal11:06 EDT Thursday, June 14, 2012TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Equitable Trust, the wholly owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: ETC and ETC.PR.A) and one of Canada's leading alternative mortgage lenders, today announced it is bringing its single family lending solutions to the Greater Halifax Area.Equitable Trust intends to become an important alternative source of single-family residential mortgages for the Area by actively serving the community's mortgage brokers and their clients including: first-time home buyers, business for-self-borrowers, investors, newcomers and those with credit challenges, with a suite of fixed-rate, adjustable, fully open and high ratio mortgage products."Equitable has served borrowers in other parts of the country for more than 40 years and now it's time to bring our specialized mortgage solutions to Atlantic Canada," said Andrew Moor, Equitable's President and CEO. "The reason to start now is clear: The Greater Halifax Area has enormous development potential. Not only is it an economic powerhouse today, it has the business, government and social assets that will drive the success of the entire province in the years ahead. We are delighted to make a long-term commitment to serving mortgage brokers and their borrowing clients in this important region."Statistics show that the Greater Halifax Area has a vibrant mortgage broker community, an attractive mix of single family property types, a relatively young population, and a solid ratio of salaried to self-employed workers. The region enjoys a diversified and growing economy with strength in resources, manufacturing, tourism, healthcare and education that provides a solid formula for a strong community and sustainable real estate values."All of these factors make the Greater Halifax Area Equitable's preferred choice for eastern expansion," said Mr. Moor, "and with our opening in Halifax, we achieve the important goal of lending from coast-to-coast."In Nova Scotia, the Company intends to grow with focus on specific communities in and around Halifax and Dartmouth, including Cole Harbour, Fall River, Hammonds Plains, Lower Sackville, Middle Sackville, Eastern Passage, Bedford, Waverly, and Timberlea. It will also support the advancement of mortgage brokers in the region by sponsoring professional accreditation and educational programs and promoting the recently created Mortgage Brokers Association of Atlantic Canada."Nova Scotia's mortgage brokers have been very vocal in expressing their interest in having an alternative mortgage lending choice for their customers," said Kim Kukulowicz, Vice President of Residential Sales and Partner Relations, "and we are proud to provide it. Relative to many communities in Canada, the Greater Halifax Area is underserviced by single family mortgage lenders. Over the long term, Equitable can be an important conduit for home ownership, especially for business for-self-borrowers and recently arrived residents."Equitable's Single Family Lending Services business funds first mortgages for owner-occupied and investment properties with up to four units, including detached or semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominiums.  By taking the time to understand each borrower's unique credit profile, Equitable creates tailored solutions that enable home ownership for those that do not qualify for credit with Canada's big banks.With mortgage assets of more than $10 billion, Equitable's proven track record is built on an intimate understanding of local demographic and real estate trends in each city it serves, disciplined lending strategies, a non-branch business model and industry-leading customer service. By meeting the needs of independent mortgage brokers who originate business and finding flexible solutions that appeal to borrowers, Equitable has experienced highly profitable growth for many years.VISIT EQUITABLE AT CAAMPEquitable Trust is active supporter of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) and is participating in CAAMP's Atlantic Regional Symposium taking place in Halifax on Monday, June 18, 2012 at the World Trade and Convention Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax. As part of the Company's commitment to the professional development of the mortgage broker industry in Atlantic Canada, Equitable is hosting a seminar at the Symposium entitled Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing, The New Norm.ABOUT EQUITABLE GROUP INC. Equitable Group Inc. is a niche mortgage lender. Our primary business is first charge mortgage financing, which we offer through our wholly owned subsidiary, The Equitable Trust Company. Founded in 1970, Equitable Trust is a federally incorporated trust company. It serves single family, small and large commercial borrowers and their mortgage advisors. It also serves the investing public as a provider of insured Guaranteed Investment Certificates. Equitable Trust is active in providing GICs across all Canadian provinces and territories. It actively originates mortgages across Canada, with offices in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and now Halifax. Equitable Group's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols ETC and ETC.PR.A respectively. Visit the Company on line at www.equitabletrust.com.For further information: Susan Carter Director of Marketing & Communications 416-513-3502