Broker launches bank

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It might just be the ultimate way for a broker to diversify: Offer all of the things his banking counterparts currently do.

Gordon McCallum is no stranger to diversifying his business offerings. He already runs a full-service mortgage brokerage, as well as insurance and financial arms. Now, he can add banking products to the list.

“This is the fourth piece of the puzzle,” McCallum,president of First Foundation, told We now offer full service banking – everything you can get at a branch you can get through our location.”

McCallum just finalized a deal with ATB Financial, which operates a network of banking agencies across Alberta. These agencies are predominantly in small towns.

“We identified an opportunity; I was looking at a map one day and realized there wasn’t an ATB near our physical location,” McCallum said. “Every other competitor in that industry was in the area and sometimes had two places in the area. So I called my ATB mortgage broker rep up and asked if they did agencies in the city and she said, ‘let me get somebody in touch with you.’”

The rep contacted McCallum and told him the bank had already identified his location as one gap it did not yet have a presence.

And so the relationship commenced. First Foundation can now add deposits, TFSAs, loans, and various investing options to its existing suite of financial services products.

All right from within First Foundation’s physical storefront.

“We’re a real clicks and bricks hybrid,” McCallum said, referring to the hybrid approach of internet and walk-in business. “We take people as they choose to come our way.”

Indeed. And those people are likely to come McCallum’s way for much more than just mortgages.

“ATB has been a good mortgage partner for us; they do things well that others in the local market don’t do,” he said. “They do business and agriculture loans, small business financing, something that we didn’t have the capability of doing (before the partnership). Personal loans, that’s another one that’s harder to come by as a broker.”
  • BC Broker on 2016-03-29 9:43:05 AM

    Tremendous idea and well done for implementing. Congratulations!

  • Marvis Olson on 2016-03-29 9:49:37 AM

    Gord-you are an innovative & out of the box thinker----Congratulations ***!!!***

  • Hal Tagg on 2016-03-29 11:38:19 AM

    Congratulations Gordon. Nice to see innovation.

  • Lucy Carvalho on 2016-03-30 9:10:44 AM

    Congrats Gord! Look forward to hearing more about your new venture. 😊

  • Judy on 2016-04-03 8:54:09 PM

    Shows initiative for sure, but kind of kills the idea of value added by dealing with a specialist rather than a generalist. "jack of all trades, master of none"

  • Keith on 2016-04-07 10:28:33 AM

    I looked it up... ATB has had agency offices across Alberta for over 50 years. This is not a new thing, and not the first mortgage broker to do it either.

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