International Credit Union Day

Happy International Credit Union Day !

Credit Unions are an important feature of Canadian Life

Co-operative financial institutions are owned & democratically controlled by their members & Canada has a long history of having a strong co-operative financial services sector with Credit Unions playing a significant role. Indeed, Canada has the world’s highest per capita membership in the credit union movement, with over 10 million members, or about one-third of the Canadian population belonging to one. That makes them 100% Canadian owned. In over 380 Canadian communities, they are the only financial institution, offering essential financial services for those local economies. However, all Canadian Credit Unions pride themselves on having a local focus:

  •  More than 736 credit unions (and caisses populaires) in more than 3,100 locations
  •  Over 10.2 million members
  •  $303 billion in combined assets
  •  More than 27,000 employees

The Canadian credit union system contributed more than $49.3 Million through direct donations, financial services, sponsorships, scholarships and bursaries in 2013 (up from $35.6 Million the year prior)

The 2014 Ipsos® Best Banking Awards for the 10th consecutive year has reported that Canadians have ranked credit unions first among all Canadian financial institutions for:

  • Overall Customer Service Excellence
  • Branch Service Excellence
  • “Value my Business”

Credit unions tied for first among all financial institutions for :

  • Financial Planning & Advice
  • Automated Telephone Banking Excellence and
  • Live Agent Telephone Banking Excellence

Read more about the Ipsos® Best Banking Awards here 

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business,  Credit Unions also outperform all banks in serving small and medium-sized enterprises. Credit Unions have been ranked #1 by CFIB members in 4 of the last 5 of their triennial surveys (2000,2003,2009 & 2012) . Read more here 

Credit unions also boast a very rich history of innovation.

Thank a Credit Union for many of these “Firsts” that for the most part, we all now take for granted:

  •  First financial institutions to lend to women in their own names (in the 1960s)
  •  First to offer daily interest savings
  •  First full-service ATMs
  •  First fully functional online banking
  •  First loans based on borrower character
  •  First payroll deduction service for deposits and loan payments
  •  First open mortgages
  •  First home equity lines of credit
  •  First debit card service.
  •  First registered education plans.
  •  First branchless bank (Citizens Bank)
  •  First cheque imaging service

So Happy International Credit Union Day ! A day that internationally, is a day to recognize the positive impact that Credit Unions make in their communities around the world. ICU Day. Have a good one.

Credit Unions across Canada matter. You can read more of the facts behind recent changes announced in the 2013 Federal Budget here 

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