NorQuest Col­lege to profit from ATB branch

Rev­enue will go to sup­ports, pro­grams

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - JAMIE SARKONAK

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.”

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