Lender expands to Eastern Canada

Brokers in Atlantic Canada may feel like they often get the short end of the stick but one mortgage company is banking on the area's mortgage business to help grow its own assets.

Canadian Western Bank is spreading East with Optimum Mortgage launching in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia earlier this month.

“We made the decision about a year ago that Atlantic Canada is a market that represents reasonable growth, not high growth, but reasonable growth,” Lester Shore, VP of Canadian Western Bank’s Optimum Mortgage told the Edmonton Journal. “With reasonable growth comes a stable real estate market and a stable real estate market to a guy like me is pretty important.”

Optimum began operations in the four western-most provinces before setting up shop in Ontario in 2009 -- a move that has contributed to exponential growth of the company.

“About five years ago, we decided we needed to move into Ontario,” Shore told the Journal. “We commenced lending in Ontario, and today, 50 per cent of our originations come from the province of Ontario and 50 per cent comes from the balance of Western Canada.”

Following the business boom in Ontario, Optimum Mortgage set its sights on Atlantic Canada, which Shore hopes will continue to contribute to the lender’s expansion.

“We spent three months poring over the data and we came to the conclusion that it was a stable, safe market that probably wasn’t as well serviced by some of our competitors as other markets are,” Shore said.