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May 11, 2017

Home Capital expects balances to be at $128M

A sign shows the logos of Home Capital Group's subsidiaries Home Trust and Oaken Financial.

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Canada's biggest non-bank lender Home Capital Group Inc (HCG.TO) on Thursday published data showing the rate at which depositors were withdrawing funds was slowing and its shares rose by as much as 20 per cent.

Home Capital said its high-interest savings deposits were expected to have fallen to about $128 million following the completion of Wednesday's settlements, down from a balance of $134 million the day before and $192 million at the start of the week.

The company is looking to divest about $2 billion in assets to help pay down a high-interest loan and delay a potential sale of the entire company, according to people familiar with the situation.

Shares in Home Capital rose as much as 20 per cent to $10.50 on Thursday, having previously lost more than 80 per cent of its value since March 27.

The stock has doubled in value since the start of the week, as investors digested moves to stem a flow of customer withdrawals. It pared some gains to trade up 17 per cent at $10.25, the highest level since April 26.

Depositors have withdrawn more than 93 per cent of funds from Home Capital's high-interest savings accounts since March 27, when the company terminated the employment of former Chief Executive Martin Reid.

The withdrawals accelerated after April 19, when Canada's biggest securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, accused Home Capital of making misleading statements to investors about its mortgage underwriting business.

The company, which is set to report its results after markets close on Thursday, has said the accusations are without merit. The OSC will hold a further hearing into the matter on June 2.

Home Capital relies on deposits from savers to fund its lending to borrowers, such as self-employed workers or newcomers to Canada, who may not meet the strict criteria of the country's biggest banks.

Last month, the company agreed to receive $2 billion in emergency funding from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). It has so far drawn down $1.4 billion from that facility.

Home Capital said on Thursday its liquid assets stood at $1.02 billion at the end of Wednesday, which, combined with the funds not drawn down on the HOOPP credit facility, gives it access to available liquidity and credit capacity of $1.62 billion.

Customer deposits of up to $100,000 are guaranteed by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.