NorQuest College to profit from ATB branch
Revenue will go to supports, programs
ATB Financial won’t be profiting from its new branch at NorQuest College — but the college will.
The new location opened Wednesday. It will be fully operated by the college, and its profits will be kept by the college to fund scholarships, academic programming and student supports.
“It’s a bit of a recycling machine,” said ATB CEO Dave Mowat. “Students pay their banking fees — who knows where their banking fees go to — but they know at this one, they kind of cycle their way back.”
Jodi Abbott, NorQuest’s president and CEO, said there is not yet a plan for what proportion of the branch’s profits will go to scholarships and programming. Her executive committee will discuss what will be done with the new revenue within the next six months.
“The convenience (of having an on-site branch) is important,” Abbott said. “The other piece is, more and more people have a social conscience ... If you know your bank’s profit is actually going back into your community to support learners ... It’s a very cool thing.”
Abbott and Mowat did not have estimates for expected revenues from the NorQuest ATB branch. Mowat noted that ATB’s two-yearold Boyle Street branch, which uses the same revenue-sharing model as NorQuest’s, may make $100,000 per year when the branch matures.
The college location “could probably make more.”
While other institutions such as the University of Alberta have ATB banking on site, NorQuest is the first to fully operate its own banking branch.
The on-site branch, open to both students and the community, will improve access to student loans and other support students need, especially those who are new to Canada, Abbott said.
The college has about 18,000 students.
NorQuest and ATB have partnered over the past 10 years to create scholarships and bursaries, as well as provide financial training to students learning English as a second language.
About two-thirds of NorQuest learners were born outside of Canada.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Abbott said.
“It’s a great business partnership between two organizations that share the same values.”