LONDON, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VersaBank (“VersaBank” or the “Bank”) (TSX:VB) today announced that it has appointed veteran real estate finance executive, Jim Gardiner, to the position of Product Champion, Instant Mortgage, to lead the Bank’s new Instant Mortgage lending business. Mr. Gardiner brings more than thirty years of real estate lending experience to VersaBank’s Instant Mortgage business. Based on the same underlying technology and value proposition as VersaBank’s highly successful Point-of-Sale software solution for “big ticket” consumer purchases, Instant Mortgage is a high-volume application for real estate developers and brokers that enables the Bank to meaningfully enter the $200-billion home financing market, creating its third lending vertical.
“Instant Mortgage represents an extraordinary new growth opportunity to apply VersaBank’s proven, proprietary Point-of-Sale software solution to an entirely new and very large business vertical in pursuit of continued outsized long-term growth,” said David Taylor, President and CEO, VersaBank. “Our Point-of-Sale software solution already provides more than 20 financial partners with nearly $1 billion of loans and leases and we look to replicate and surpass that success with our Instant Mortgage solution. Importantly, the launch of Instant Mortgage will further capitalize on the significant operating leverage within our business model as a fully digital Bank.”
Mr. Taylor added, “Jim is the right person to lead this new business and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to champion its success. His specific expertise and extensive industry relationships will be invaluable to maximizing the potential of this opportunity, as the Bank continues to deploy in excess of $2 billion across all of our lending verticals in pursuit of superior net interest margins while mitigating risk.”
“VersaBank’s Instant Mortgage offering is by far the most innovative residential mortgage finance solution I have seen in my career,” said Mr. Gardiner. “It is truly revolutionary. Nothing else like it exists today. VersaBank has once again used its proprietary banking technology to address a significant unmet need in the marketplace – rapid, direct access to loan capital, in a pre-construction sales environment, is a game changer for the real estate industry. I know that our partners will appreciate VersaBank’s seamless technology to facilitate the sales process and drive their sales volumes. I look forward to taking the reins on this tremendous opportunity and working with David and the rest of the VersaBank team to drive the success of this for the Bank, as well as its shareholders.”
Prior to joining VersaBank, Mr. Gardiner was Regional Vice President – Commercial Services for Southwestern Ontario (and prior thereto, Director, Real Estate Development) at Meridian Credit Union, where he leveraged his extensive network, his land development and construction expertise and his leadership capabilities to propel the expansion of the Meridian Southwestern Region’s book of business. Before joining Meridian, he was Commercial Lending Director at Central 1 Credit Union, Regional Manager – Real Estate at Pacific & Western Bank and held multiple positions at TD Bank Group.
About Instant Mortgage
Instant Mortgage is a revolutionary high-volume residential financing software app for home and condominium builders and sales brokerage firms that enables “on-the-spot” financing approvals, with a specific focus on newcomer home and condo buyers with significant wealth but no credit history in Canada. Instant Mortgage provides VersaBank’s home and condominium builder and sales brokerage partners with immediate access to capital to fund loans to approved home and condo buyers, facilitating and expediting the sales process. Similar to the Bank’s Point of Sale Loan and Lease model, loans to VersaBank’s builder and sales brokerage partner transactions are structured with cash holdbacks that virtually eliminate the risk to VersaBank of non-performing loans.
VersaBank adopted an electronic B2B (business-to-business) branchless model in 1993, becoming the world’s first branchless financial institution. It holds a Canadian Schedule 1 chartered bank licence and obtains its deposits, and the majority of its loans and leases, electronically. VersaBank’s Common Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol VB and its Series 1 Preferred Shares and Series 3 Preferred Shares trade under the symbols VB.PR.A. and VB.PR.B. respectively.
The statements in this press release that relate to the future are forward-looking statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, many of which are out of our control. Risks exist that predictions, forecasts, projections, and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as several important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the strength of the Canadian economy in general and the strength of the local economies within Canada in which we conduct operations; the effects of changes in monetary and fiscal policy, including changes in interest rate policies of the Bank of Canada; changing global commodity prices; the effects of competition in the markets in which we operate; inflation; capital market fluctuations; the timely development and introduction of new products in receptive markets; the impact of changes in the laws and regulations pertaining to financial services; changes in tax laws; technological changes; unexpected judicial or regulatory proceedings; unexpected changes in consumer spending and savings habits; the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and our anticipation of and success in managing the risks implicated by the foregoing. For a detailed discussion of certain key factors that may affect our future results, please see our annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the year ended October 31, 2019.
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