National Bank Financial disagrees with OSC Staff submission in YBM proceedings

Montreal, 16 October 2002 - 

The National Post reported today that OSC Staff, in its written submissions to the Commission Hearing Panel in the YBM proceedings, is seeking sanctions against all of the Respondents, which includes National Bank Financial.  The Post has reported that OSC Staff are asking that «National Bank Financial should not be allowed to participate in the underwriting of any public financing for six months to a year».

National Bank Financial strongly disagrees with this submission and will address it in its own written submissions to the Panel. It is unfortunate that Staff's submissions have become public before the Panel has had a chance to receive the submissions of all of the parties to the proceedings.

National Bank Financial  believes it would be inappropriate to comment further on any other aspect of the proceedings. It is confident that, after having heard the submissions of all of the parties to the proceedings, the Panel will render a fair and considered decision in this matter.

The matters in relation to YBM are historical in nature.  They occurred about five years ago at First Marathon. In 1999, First Marathon was acquired by National Bank and merged with Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion to form National Bank Financial, under a new management team.

National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. The National Bank has assets of over $75 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, employs over 17,000 people. The Bank's securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Information (the following telephone number and e-mail address are intended solely for the use of journalists and other media representatives):

National Bank of Canada
Denis Dubé
Director of Public Relations
Tel.: (514) 394-8644