Canadian Underwriter

Loblaw to keep operating PC Financial home & auto brokerage after ending banking relationship with CIBC

August 17, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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PC Financial Insurance Broker Inc. – which places home and auto insurance in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada – will continue to be owned and operated by grocery and drug retailer Loblaw Companies Ltd., a PC Financial spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter Wednesday.

A CIBC sign in Toronto’s financial district in downtown Toronto is shown on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is taking over President’s Choice Financial bank accounts with a new online brand as it responds to the continuing trend towards digital banking.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

President’s Choice Bank, a Loblaw unit, announced Wednesday it has ended its 20-year relationship with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

“Everyday banking products, including savings, chequing and mortgage accounts, previously offered under the President’s Choice Financial brand will continue to be provided by CIBC, under new branding, beginning November 1, 2017,” PC Financial said in a press release.

CIBC’s new branding is Simplii Financial, CIBC announced Wednesday.

“The Simplii Financial brand will replace the President’s Choice Financial brand banking products and services issued by CIBC, effective November 1.”

The PC Financial spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter Wednesday that PC Financial Insurance Broker – which is licensed by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario –  will still be operated by Loblaw and will not be transferred over to CIBC/Simplii.

There will be no changes to products or to the insurance companies with whom PC Financial places home and auto insurance, the PC Financial spokesperson said.

PC Financial can place home and auto insurance in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Consumers can earn reward points by paying their home and auto insurance premiums on their PC Mastercard.

Brampton, Ont.-based Loblaw – which acquired Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. in 2014 – is publicly traded. As of March 4, 47% of Loblaw shares were owned by George Weston Limited, which in turn is controlled by W. Galen Weston, father of Loblaw CEO Galen G. Weston, Loblaw stated April 3 in a securities filing. Among others, Loblaw’s supermarket brands include Zehrs, Provigo, Valu-mart, Fortinos, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore.

CIBC currently offers home and auto insurance underwritten by subsidiaries of Desjardins Group.

PC Financial “will continue its focus on payment and loyalty,” including its Mastercard credit card and its PC Plus loyalty program, PC Financial said Wednesday.

The Toronto Dominion Bank is the only major Canadian bank that underwrites home and auto insurance. TD owns Meloche Monnex Inc., which in turn owns Security National Insurance Company.

Like CIBC, the Bank of Nova Scotia also offers home and auto insurance written by a subsidiary of Desjardins.

The Royal Bank of Canada wrote home and auto until 2016, when Aviva Canada Inc. acquired RBC General Insurance Company. RBC now has an agreement with Aviva Canada, in which Aviva Canada provides policy administration and claims services.

Through a subsidiary, National Bank of Canada provides home and auto insurance written by InnovAssur assurances, which is owned by Intact Financial Corp. InnovAssur was orginally created out of an alliance between National Bank and AXA, whose Canadian operations were acquired by Intact in 2011. In its annual report for 2016, released this past April, Intact said it acquired all of the outstanding shares of InnovAssur assurances.

The Bank of Montreal does not provide either home or auto insurance.

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