Alternative lender Equitable Group said that it has reached an all-time record for quarterly earnings in the three months ending Sept. 30, bolstered by its strong capital position, credit reserves, and liquidity.
The third quarter saw the expansion of the bank’s digital services, driven by intensified customer demand. Deposits for Equitable’s digital platform climbed to $4.3 billion, while the monthly average of account openings for Q3 was more than three times the average of 12 months before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equitable also reported that it exceeded its “traditionally high band for ROE.” Despite the lingering threat of the coronavirus outbreak, the lender is expecting the strong results to hold through the final quarter of the year.
“I’m proud to say Equitable is answering the call to serve in ways that are making a difference to [Canadians], to liquidity in the economy, and to our shareholders,” Equitable President and CEO Andrew Moor said in the company’s recent revenue announcement. “These very positive results illustrate that Canadians are rethinking their banking habits and choosing Canada’s Challenger Bank for a better experience.”
Liquid assets stood at $2.8 billion, or 9.1% of total assets as of Sept. 30. This was double the $1.4 billion (5.2% of assets) seen during the same time last year. Deposits amounted to $16.4 billion, up 10% from $14.9 billion a year ago.
As of Oct. 23rd, active payment deferrals represented only 0.3% of Equitable’s portfolio.
“Over the past seven months, Equitable has continued to advance its position in the marketplace while also making a number of pandemic-related adjustments, including a successful pivot in our lending businesses,” Moor said. “"This spring, we chose to take a constructive role in providing liquidity to the Canadian economy by increasing the bank’s focus on insured mortgage lending by redeploying resources to our insured single-family business and increasing the origination of multi-family insured mortgages. Gains in securitization activities have also increased markedly.”