Skip to main content
Publish date:

Fairstone Financial Inc. Acquisition By Duo Bank Of Canada Formally Approved By OSFI, Creating A Leading Near-prime Focused Consumer Bank Group In Canada

With over 1.5 million customers and $5 billion in assets, the new combined group will provide Canadians with even more access to financial services they need TORONTO and MONTREAL, Oct.

With over 1.5 million customers and $5 billion in assets, the new combined group will provide Canadians with even more access to financial services they need

TORONTO and MONTREAL, Oct. 25, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Duo Bank of Canada ("Duo Bank"), a Toronto-based Schedule I Bank supported by Stephen Smith, Centerbridge Partners L.P. and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board ("Ontario Teachers'") has received formal approval from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) of its acquisition of Fairstone Financial Holdings Inc. and its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Fairstone Financial Inc. (collectively "Fairstone"). The acquisition of Fairstone by Duo Bank creates a leading near-prime focused Canadian consumer banking entity with over 1.5 million customers and $5 billion in assets on a consolidated basis.  

Scott Wood, President and CEO of Fairstone, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity. Trudy Fahie, CEO of Duo Bank, has decided to retire from Duo Bank and will remain on the Board of Directors of the combined entity as Vice Chair. The executive team will be comprised of executives from both organizations.

"Both businesses, Duo Bank and Fairstone, are highly complementary and well aligned in terms of strategic growth objectives with a mission to provide everyday Canadians with access to financial solutions that fit their needs. They share strong customer-oriented and community-driven operational models. It is our belief that this acquisition adds diversity to the Canadian financial services landscape and further strengthens the growth and market opportunities for both companies" said Stephen Smith, Chair of the Board of the Duo Bank/Fairstone Group. "Scott and Trudy were instrumental in delivering strong results while leading the transformation of Duo Bank and Fairstone. Scott and the executive team will play a strong part in developing the talent we need and in executing on the business priorities we have identified for the new combined entity."

"I am very excited about this new chapter for the combined company. Combining Fairstone's 100-year market presence and its market-leading near-prime consumer lending capabilities with a Schedule I Bank with a significant credit card business will allow us to provide everyday Canadians with even better access to financial solutions that fit their needs. As we bring the strengths and values of both organizations together, we plan to design and execute a value creation plan focusing on the significant growth opportunities ahead," added Scott Wood, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Duo Bank/Fairstone Group.

With an extensive Canadian footprint spanning from coast to coast, combined with an online presence, diverse portfolio of credit (including credit cards), related insurance and rewards solutions, and a reputation of delivering responsible, accessible, value-driven financial solutions, the new combined group will be able to provide Canadians with even more access to the financial services they need.

About Duo Bank of Canada and Fairstone Financial Holdings Inc.Duo Bank is a Schedule I Canadian Bank founded on a mission to provide value-driven financial products that are clear and simple, to help Canadians focus on what matters to them. Duo Bank specializes in turnkey and customizable financial services solutions designed to deepen customer loyalty and grow sales. The growing complement of products and services includes credit cards, rewards programs and related protection services and deposits. With a value-driven approach to financial services, robust sales channels and innovative and efficient operational solutions, Duo Bank partners with industry leading service providers to deliver financial solutions for its customers. Headquartered in Toronto, Duo Bank is privately held by an investor group led by funds managed by affiliates of Stephen Smith, Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and Ontario Teachers'. More at www.duobank.com

Fairstone Financial Holdings Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fairstone Financial Inc., is Canada's leading provider of responsible lending solutions for near-prime borrowers with over $3 billion in assets on a consolidated basis. Fairstone, including through its predecessors, has close to a 100-year history of providing Canadians with access to responsible credit. The Company provides personal loans and home equity loans directly to consumers online and in over 240 branches from coast to coast and provides consumer financing indirectly through retailers and auto and powersports dealerships. Headquartered in Montreal, Fairstone is an operating subsidiary of Duo Bank of Canada and ranked among one of Montreal's Top Employers for 2021. More at www.fairstone.ca.

About Stephen Smith Stephen Smith, one of Canada's leading financial services entrepreneurs, is the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of First National Financial Corporation, Canada's largest non-bank mortgage lender with over $115 billion of mortgages under administration. He is the Chairman of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, which he owns in partnership with Ontario Teachers' and is the largest shareholder in Equitable Bank, Canada's Challenger Bank TM. In 2015, Queen's University announced the naming of the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen's University in honour of Mr. Smith and his historic $50 million donation to the school.

About Centerbridge Partners, L.P.Centerbridge Partners, L.P. is a private investment management firm employing a flexible approach across investment disciplines—from private equity to credit and related strategies, and real estate. The Firm was founded in 2005 and, as of June 30, 2021, has approximately $31 billion in capital under management with offices in New York and London. Centerbridge is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams across targeted industry sectors and geographies to help companies achieve their operating and financial objectives. For more information, please visit www.centerbridge.com.

About Ontario Teachers'Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers') is the administrator of Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, with C$227.7 billion in net assets (all figures at June 30, 2021 unless noted). It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.6% since the plan's founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers' is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region offices are located in Hong Kong and Singapore, and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded as at January 1, 2021, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario's 331,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

SOURCE Fairstone Financial Inc.