Case for Progress Committee

March 05, 2010 13:03 ET

Federal Government Legislation for Credit Union Expansion is Good News, Says Credit Union Committee

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - The federal government's plans to introduce legislation that will make it easier for credit unions to operate nationally is applauded and supported by the Case for Progress committee, a group composed of credit unions across Canada. Canada's Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty announced the plans yesterday as part of the 2010 budget.

Mark Mcloughlin, Chair of the Case for Progress committee, says the legislation will give Canadian credit unions more choice in their growth options by allowing them to operate outside their traditional provincial boundaries, and will also strengthen the credit union system. The committee has been supporting federal legislation for several years and is the leading proponent for the change.

"We are marking a historic milestone today," says Mcloughlin. "This new legislation benefits all Canadians by increasing their choices in selecting a financial institution. It will strengthen the stability and competitiveness of the entire financial services industry in Canada."

Mcloughlin explains that the new legislation, if passed, will provide the credit union system with increased economies of scale and more competitive cost bases, which make it a strong and viable nationwide alternative within the financial services industry in Canada.

The decision to take advantage of the legislation is ultimately up to individual credit unions and they would need to determine, in consultation with their members, whether the federal option is in their best interest and aligns with their growth strategies. Approval from members would be required before any credit union could proceed to expand across provincial borders.

"The goal of this legislation is to allow credit unions to grow, become stronger and better able to contribute to competition and choice in Canada's financial services industry, while maintaining their core principles that define them as credit unions," says Mcloughlin. "Credit unions were built on providing a full range of financial services, strong support for the community, voluntary and open membership and democratic member control. Credit unions don't ever intend to change that."

Currently, more than 5 million Canadians belong to a credit union.

The Case for Progress Committee is a coalition of several credit unions advocating federal legislation to allow credit unions to operate outside their traditional provincial boundaries. The committee includes FirstWest, Coast Capital Savings and Vancity in BC; First Calgary in Alberta; Meridian, Alterna, and Buduchnist in Ontario and Credit Union Atlantic in the Maritimes.

Contact Information

  • Peak Communicators
    On behalf of the Case for Progress Committee
    Sheila Calder
    604.689.5559 or Cell: 604.802.2321