If you’re reading this on July 1st, Happy Canada Day!
If you’re reading this any other day, Happy Canada Day anyway. Since it is that time of year, even though 2020 is the year that everyone would like to forget, let’s talk a tiny bit about Canadian credit unions and other financial institutions! How patriotic!
Focusing on Credit Unions – hey, know your audience – there are 5.72 million members at Credit Unions (in 2018), and contribute over $6.5 billion directly and indirectly to Canada’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). There are 1,775 locations of credit union branches and employ more than 58,000 Canadians.
One of the credit union principles is volunteerism and caring for our communities. Research collected during Canada’s 150th anniversary, credit union employees donated over 300,000 volunteer hours in their home communities. That’s a lot of volunteering.
In 2017, credit unions returned $174 million dollars to their members through dividends and patronage and their members saved approximately $19 million in ATM fees by using the ‘ding free’ ATM network within all the Canadian credit unions.
On average, the big banks spend less than one per cent in community donations and sponsorships, whereas Canadian credit unions spend 5.4 per cent of their pre-tax income on their communities through donations and sponsorships.
Your Encompass Credit Union alone gave over $200,000 in 2019 alone in donations, sponsorships, scholarships and grants directly to its local communities.
Women are strongly represented (but a long way to go) within the governing directors of credit unions across the country, with 34 per cent of directors being women, with another approximately 34 per cent of CU’s CEOs are women, which leads Canada’s financial services in gender parity. This is a scary quote to even mention, but credit unions were the first financial institution to lend to women in their own names in 1977. Yeah, 1977.
Credit unions are organizations that provide homeowners, small business owners and farmers with access to vital capital to grow. Credit unions lead the country for small business lending with 18.5 per cent, with 8.5 billion in agriculture lending, and 55.8 billion in commercial lending.
Empowered by the innovations that credit unions are constantly achieving and being connected to our communities better than any of the big banks, it’s also no wonder that credit unions have also earned the top honours for Customer Service for many years in row.
Happy Canada Day, and if you’re not currently using a credit union for your financial needs, it’s time to experience the credit union difference.