Jul 31, 2019

Reserve Funds and Regulatory Changes: How Cash Management Can Help Condo Corporations

Taking a holistic approach helps the team at CWB make the most of condominium and strata organizations’ reserve funds while navigating a complex industry.

One of the biggest concerns that face condominium and strata organizations is how to best handle their reserve funds. For example, making sure that the reserve fund is kept in an account that offers a good interest rate while also ensuring that the funds remain easily accessible is a difficult balance to strike. Nancy Matheos, Assistant Vice President and Deputy Manager of the Calgary South District at Canadian Western Bank (CWB), doesn’t look solely for accounts with high rates for her condo corporation clients. She looks at the whole picture.
“Ultimately, when we meet with new condo clients, we try to understand the whole picture, from the number of units they manage to what the long-term needs and goals are for the group,” says Nancy.
She explains that because CWB offers such a wide variety of cash management products all covered by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), this can increase the number of places she can deposit funds from a condo corporation to ensure they maximize the benefits while keeping deposits insured.

The range of cash management products offered by CWB offers unique opportunities for condo groups to gain industry leading benefits without having to lock in the funds for an extended period of time. Products such as the Business Savings Account and the Flex Notice Account keep funds liquid and offer high interest while reducing some of the risk that can be associated with investing money.

Cash management that can make a difference


Nancy explains that in addition to helping with reserve funds, CWB can assist condo companies with special assessments. Typically, when a condo undergoes a special assessment, the unit owners can be on the hook for sometimes thousands of dollars. CWB Maxium Financial, a division of CWB, is able to finance special assessments for condo companies upwards of $50 million, ensuring that any renovations or repairs can be completed without leaving owners burdened with hefty bills.

“A condo’s reserve can easily be wiped out because of a special assessment,” says Nancy. When a condo corporation has a close relationship with its bank, they can find solutions to issues that the company might not even be thinking about, and ultimately save the condo a lot of money that can be put towards more important aspects of running property management.

“It would be easy to take the condo company’s money, put it into an account and leave it. We pay attention and remain involved. The companies know the name of their financial advisor because that relationship building helps us educate our clients on how we can add value.”

More than just banking information


Providing information and education to the condo industry goes far beyond banking advice for Nancy. Her CWB district is also a member of the Canadian Condominium Institute, a national association for companies in the condo and strata industry. The organization gives her access to information and speakers from across the country who can help the condo industry with its seemingly constant changes.

“We attend monthly luncheons that provide some great information to this industry and some great networking opportunities,” says Nancy. “We often have speakers who discuss relevant issues and regulations, and how the industry can prepare for changes.”

Holistic banking


Taking a holistic approach to serving her clients is how Nancy sees CWB offering something of higher value to the industry.
“Because we look at the whole business and the people and not just the finances, we can help these companies do more to plan out, optimize interest and ensure the safety of the funds,” says Nancy.
“Regulations are always changing in this industry and though they don’t always have to do with banking, we still stay on top of them to better guide our clients and direct them to where they can find the best help and information. This is how we can add a lot more value to the relationship.” Learn more about CWB cash management solutions at Findyourfocus.ca.