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The oil plunge posed a significant threat to ATB Financial, which only operates in Alberta.The crown corporation had to figure out how to stay afloat, while also sticking its neck out for the oilpatch.With the recession now in the rear-view mirror, ATB is flourishing again as the province's fortunes swell.The bank is posting record-breaking profit and issued the highest ever number of loans last year.For instance, Edmonton performed better than Calgary as the capital city's unemployment rate was more than three per cent lower in late-2016 than its southern neighbour.The housing market also varied across the province since the oilpatch is concentrated in certain pockets, while communities like Banff and Canmore were largely not impacted.
The oil price crash began in mid-2014, when oil in North America was trading above 0 US per barrel, but within six months it was below US and eventually bottomed out below US.
This downturn wouldn't be over quickly and the recovery wouldn't be fast, either.
The unemployment rate would hit nine per cent in the province with tens of thousands of people losing their jobs."We were grieving with the rest of the province as things went down," said Dave Mowat, outgoing CEO of ATB Financial.
Everyday the bank sees the Alberta economy growing."The deposits are a little bit bigger and people are working a little bit more," said Mowat.
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Most banks are diversified geographically, but ATB only operates in Alberta, so there was nowhere to run from the downturn.