Press Releases

National Bank sets up agriculture and agri-food advisory committee

Montreal, 24 July 2006 -

National Bank is pleased to announce the creation of a new advisory committee dedicated to the agriculture and agri-food sectors. Comprised of producers, business owners active in their sector and managers from the Bank, the committee will meet every six months to more clearly identify issues facing the industry.

“The agriculture and agri-food sectors are facing new economic challenges that are being reflected in increasingly specific financial needs. The new committee represents both the agriculture and agri-food sectors in Quebec and Ontario and provides the Bank with a concrete means to develop financial solutions suited to the needs of the sectors’ SMEs. Furthermore, the Bank, with over 8,600 clients whose interests will be driving the committee’s mission, wants to consolidate its position in this industry,” explained Yvan Beaudin, Senior Manager – Commercial Banking, Agriculture and Agri-Food at National Bank.

Over the years, the Bank has encouraged business development by these SMEs through a variety of special measures. For example, since 2003, it has employed more flexible credit standards and pricing terms for beef producers affected by the BSE crisis. In addition, in 2005, the Bank financed processing plant projects in order to help producers sell their livestock locally, which is a real advantage. The Bank is also eager to help owners who wish to pass on their businesses: it organizes conferences for them on farm transfers and succession and accompanies them through the process.

National Bank is a partner of choice for the agriculture and agri-food industry. Moreover, to adequately meet the financial management and administration needs of these SMEs, it maintains a team of over 100 farm advisors boasting solid expertise and specialized training. The Bank also has a credit sector exclusively dedicated to these types of businesses.

A photo is available. Please contact the undersigned for a copy.

Caption:
The members of the new advisory committee met on June 22 in Montreal. Pictured from left to right: Ron Versteeg, President of Rusland Farms in Cumberland, Ontario; Fernand Pascoal, President and General Manager of the agri-food company Multi-Portions; Sylvain Raynault, President of Ferme Bonneterre inc. in Lanaudière; Luc Boivin, Administrator of Fromagerie Boivin, present in the Saguenay and Charlevoix regions; Yvan Beaudin, Agronomist and Senior Manager – Commercial Banking at National Bank.

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 more than $110 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,955 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website atwww.nbc.ca.

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

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