October 20, 2016 07:45 ET

Credit unions lead the way in supporting the Canadian economy through community, job output and loans to SMEs

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 20, 2016) - Canadian credit unions are pleased to announce the release of their 2016 Credit Union Community & Economic Impact Report (Report) highlighting the fact that on average, credit unions' contributions were equivalent to 5.7 per cent of pre-tax profits, well above the industry best standard of one per centi.

The Report shows that in 2015, nearly 84 per cent of credit union and caisse populaires assets were dedicated to supporting the real economy through loans to consumers and Main Street businesses, compared to 70 per cent for chartered banksii.

How else are credit unions differentiating from banks? Dollar for dollar, credit unions create roughly twice as many jobs as Canada's largest banks. For every million dollar of gross output, credit unions create a total of 14.5 jobs in Canada, compared to 8.4 for banksiii.

In 2015, Canada's credit unions: contributed more than $56 million to local communities across Canada; added $6.5 billion to Canada's economic growth; retained $673 million in net income to support future growth and make community investments; paid $160 million in dividends and rewards to members for using credit union services (known as patronage); and paid $149 million in taxes to local, provincial and federal governments.

"Credit unions are different from other financial institutions. Profits are invested back into the community and net income is also directed toward helping local communities through financial literacy initiatives and social finance innovation," explains Martha Durdin, president and CEO, Canadian Credit Union Association. "This contribution helps communities and government invest in jobs and growth -- and local communities prosper."

Since 2008, Canada's credit unions have contributed more than $340 million to Canadian communities. In 2015 alone, credit unions gave:

  • $24.7 million in donations;
  • $16.5 million in sponsorships;
  • $8 million in financial services (in reduced or waived service charges) to 58,363 community organizations;
  • $2.8 million in donations in-kind
  • $2 million through 1,951 credit union scholarships and bursaries;
  • $1.8 million to credit union charitable foundations; and
  • $440 thousand to endowment funds.

The Report is being released on International Credit Union Day, which acknowledges the authentic difference credit unions make to Canadians, their commitment to local communities, and their contributions on a national and international level. International Credit Union Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.

To access the 2016 Community and Economic Impact Report, click here or visit

About Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA)

Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) is the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system. Canada's credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. CCUA represents 303 credit unions and caisses populaires (outside of Quebec) with more than $195.97 billion in assets and serving over 5.6 million members. Credit unions have a long history of innovation, including the recent launch of mobile pay in Canada. For more information about Canada's credit unions visit

About the Community Involvement Survey (data used for Report)

In 2001, Credit Union Central of Canada and Ipsos Reid conducted the first system-wide Community Involvement Study of Canadian credit unions. The survey is now conducted by Credit Union Central of Manitoba and continues to be voluntary. It is conducted each year, from April through August, and reports on credit union involvement in the previous fiscal year. The community involvement study conducted in 2016 received 243 responses out of 287 surveys sent out to credit unions, which is an 85% response rate and also a 96% asset coverage rate. The results of this survey have always been shared with members as well as made public to highlight the role that credit unions play in developing the communities that they serve.

About International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union Day, co-ordinated by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. It was established to acknowledge the credit union model, history and commitment to communities locally, nationally and internationally. To learn more, click here.

i Percentage of pre-tax profits are based on 2015 Public Accountability Statements from six largest banks in Canada and Canadian Credit Union Association, Second Quarter 2016, Credit Union and Caisse Populaire System Results. 2016.

ii As informed by: Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Real Economy -- Real Returns: The Power of Sustainability-Focused Banking, 2015.

iii Conference Board of Canada, The Economic Footprint of Canada's Credit Unions, August 2016.

Contact Information

  • CCUA media contact:
    Janet Gibson Eichner
    Senior Manager, National Media & Communications
    Tel: (416) 232-3458