Laurentian bank logo on building

Laurentian Bank of Canada’s chief executive says it’s launching a new strategic plan meant to make the company “stronger, sustainable, and more profitable.”

The Montreal-based financial institution announced the move Friday, saying the plan will position the company as an alternative bank for young and middle-class customers who are “underserved or under appreciated” by rivals and more likely to consider switching from rivals.

“Commercial banking will remain the bank’s growth engine, and we will grow market share in personal banking by introducing new, low-cost, value-add products to attract new customers and increase deposits, while simultaneously simplifying our offering,” president and chief executive Éric Provost, said in a press release.

The bank intends to lure in new customers by reducing complexities within its business, offering more self-serve banking capabilities and investing in technology.

It will also simplify its capital markets business to focus on areas where it has the strongest expertise and seek growth in several areas of its commercial banking division, like inventory financing, commercial real estate and small and medium business lending.

In April, iA Private Wealth announced it would acquire the retail full-service division of Laurentian Bank Securities Inc.

The strategic plan comes weeks after a layoffs announcement and as the bank has struggled to turn itself around after putting itself on the market but failing to find a buyer.

Its latest earnings, which were also revealed Friday, showed the bank incurred a loss of $117.5 million in its second quarter, compared with net income of $49.3 million a year earlier.

The loss amounted to $2.71 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, down from a profit of $1.11 per diluted share in its second quarter last year.

Revenue totalled $252.6 million, down from $257.2 million a year earlier.

The results came as Laurentian’s provision for credit losses totalled $17.9 million, up from $16.2 million in its second quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 90 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, down from an adjusted profit of $1.16 per diluted share a year earlier.

Weeks after the quarter ended, the bank announced it was cutting about 2% of its workforce and ending equity research in mid-May.

Last year, it failed to find a buyer for the business and the board promoted Éric Provost to the CEO position in October, after Rania Llewellyn resigned from the top job in the wake of a system crash that blacked out much of the bank’s services.

Llewellyn became the first woman to lead a major Canadian bank when she took on Laurentian’s CEO role in October 2020.