RRSP: National Bank Launches its New Strategic Note*

Montreal, 18 January 2006 - 

Principal fully protected by National Bank at maturity;
Potential annual compound return of approximately 7.35%;
No income taxes payable before redemption or maturity.

National Bank is launching its new Strategic Note, an investment solution that combines performance and complete principal protection, while offering a potential annual compound return of up to 7.35% over a 6-year term.

The Strategic Note contains the asset classes needed for optimal diversification for capitalizing on stock and bond markets.  It is the ideal solution for investors with a secure or conservative profile.

Investors can be assured of getting a safe, comprehensive product when they buy these notes, whose return is linked to a benchmark portfolio of nine National Bank Mutual Funds composed of fixed-income securities and global and Canadian equities:  the Bond Fund, the Global Bond Fund, the Dividend Fund, the Canadian Equity Fund, the Small Capitalization Fund, the Global Equity Fund and the Canadian, International and American Index funds.

Each note costs $100 and the minimum investment is $500.  At maturity, on January 31, 2012, investors will be paid their principal and the actual appreciation in value (principal and distributions) of the benchmark portfolio, net of management fees.  Historically, each of the funds that make up the Strategic Note has a track record of strong potential returns in its class based on a respectable level of risk. The Note qualifies for RRSPs, RRIFs, and RESPs.

The Strategic Note can be purchased from National Bank branch advisors, National Bank Direct Brokerage representatives, and through National Bank Securities Advisory Service at 1-888-270-3941. Bank clients can also contact TelNat by calling 1-888-4-TELNAT or (514) 394-5555.

Investors can obtain additional information about the Strategic Note from the Bank’s website at www.nbc.ca/notes.

About National Bank of Canada
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. 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. National Bank has close to $108 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,890 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at
www.nbc.ca.

*The Principal-Protected Strategic Note (the “Note”) is an investment with guaranteed principal repayable at maturity.  Changes in the benchmark index of the Note, which reflect changes in the underlying portfolio’s return, have a direct impact on interest payable.  It is therefore possible that no interest will be paid.  Annual management fees of 2.95% of the benchmark portfolio accrue daily and are deducted monthly in arrears.  All information pertaining to this issue of Notes will be provided in an information statement, which will be sent to investors before the closing date.  

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives):

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