Crashing Canadian Mortgage Lender Bailed-Out By 321,000 Retired Ontario Healthcare Workers

With Canada's housing bubble popping amid the collapse of the country's largest mortgage lender, it was no surprise that a bailout had been orchestrated, and now we know the source of the $1.5 billion 'loan' - 321,000 retired healthcare workers in Ontario.

As we noted yesterday, the stock of Home Capital Group cratered by over 60%, its biggest drop on record, after the company disclosed that it struck an emergency liquidity arrangement for a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) credit line to counter evaporating deposits at terms that will leave the alternative mortgage lender unable to meet financial targets, and worse, may leave it insolvent in very short notice.

As part of this inevitable outcome, one which presages the company's eventual disintegration and likely liquidation, Bloomberg reported that the non-binding rescue loan with an unnamed counterparty will be secured by a portfolio of mortgage loans originated by Home Trust, the Toronto-based firm said in a statement Wednesday. Home Capital shares dropped by 61% in Toronto to the lowest since 2003, dragging down other home lenders.

 

And now we know the source.

As Bloomberg reports, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is the lender behind Home Capital Group's C$2 billion loan ($1.5 billion) to shore up liquidity, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Toronto-based pension plan is said to have given the struggling Canadian mortgage lender the loan to shore up liquidity as it faces a run on deposits amid a probe by the provincial securities regulator. Home Capital has retained RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets to advise on “strategic options” after it secured the loan, according to a statement Thursday. Home Capital didn’t identify the lender.

 

HOOPP, which represents more than 321,000 healthcare workers in Ontario, was not immediately available to comment. HOOPP President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Keohane sits on Home Capital’s board and is a shareholder. Home Capital’s external spokesman Boyd Erman declined to comment.

 

The one-year credit line has a 10 percent interest rate on outstanding balances and a 2.5 percent rate on undrawn amounts, the Toronto-based lender said. The finalized agreement follows an announcement early Wednesday that Home Capital had reached a non-binding agreement in principle with an institutional investor for the loan.

And in case you are one of the 321,000 retirees who are nervous about your pension managers' actions, don't worry: The loan is secured by a pool of mortgages originated by Home Trust, and as everyone knows, in Canada home prices never go down.

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