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Q1 2020 First National Financial Corp Earnings Call

Toronto May 14, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) — Edited Transcript of First National Financial Corp earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript


Corporate Participants


* Moray Tawse

First National Financial Corporation – Co-Founder, Executive VP, Secretary & Director

* Robert A. Inglis

First National Financial Corporation – CFO

* Stephen J. R. Smith

First National Financial Corporation – Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO


Conference Call Participants


* Geoffrey Kwan

RBC Capital Markets, Research Division – Analyst

* Graham Ryding

TD Securities Equity Research – Research Analyst of Financial Services

* Jaeme Gloyn

National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division – Analyst




Operator [1]


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to First National’s First Quarter 2020 Analyst Call. (Operator Instructions) This call is being recorded for replay purposes on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Stephen Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First National. Please proceed, Mr. Smith.


Stephen J. R. Smith, First National Financial Corporation – Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO [2]


Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our call, and thank you for participating. Rob Inglis, our Chief Financial Officer; and Moray Tawse, Executive Vice President, have joined me from their home offices.

I will remind you that our remarks and answers may contain forward-looking information about future events or the company’s future performance. This information is subject to risks and uncertainties and should be considered in conjunction with the risk factors detailed in our MD&A.

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It’s hard to imagine that just over 2 months ago, First National reported record financial results for 2019 and a positive outlook for 2020. Since then, COVID-19 has disrupted life for every Canadian and every Canadian business, including First National, and the associate economic disruption is now being felt in every corner of the country. As an essential service, we remain on the job to assist our customers during this time of need. Since the start of the pandemic, we have not lost a step in either the single-family or commercial segments. We’ve continued to renew mortgages and to lend on both insured and a conventional basis. The biggest challenge to our business has been providing mortgage payment deferrals, which Rob will speak to later in the call.

One thing that we have found is that we continue to have considerable liquidity as a result of our funding model, and we are making use of the various channels available to us to fund our mortgages. Internally, our team has done an outstanding job, while following our work-at-home contingency plan. Over 90% of our workforce moved off-site within a week of the pandemic declaration.

If there was ever an event that tested the resilience and professionalism of First National team, this is it. I’m very proud of the work that they are performing. And I’m pleased with the strength of our IT department, continues to enable seamless secure work from home.

Our call center volumes hit record highs in late March, and we had to reassign employees to help. There is still more — there are still more calls than normal, but we stand ready to respond to our customers and partners anytime they need us. I would like to personally thank all of our call center employees who rose to the challenge to get back to the thousand of phone messages, e-mails and other [oral] communications over the past 1.5 months. It has been a stressful time, and you remain committed to assisting our customers in a time of need.

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