FirstOntario Credit Union

FirstOntario Credit Union

October 17, 2012 09:00 ET

FirstOntario Credit Union Challenges Canadians: Join the Movement

FirstOntario Credit Union Celebrates International Credit Union Day

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - On October 18, FirstOntario Credit Union, one of Canada's leading member-owned financial cooperatives, is coming together with credit unions around the world to celebrate International Credit Union Day. More than 10 million Canadians, roughly one-third of the country's population, are members of an affiliated credit union or caisse populaire.

"International Credit Union Day is a chance to share what one third of Canadians already know - there is a strong and viable community-based alternative to big banks," said Dave Schurman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, FirstOntario Credit Union. "We are driven by excellent products and services, a strong commitment to our members, and unequalled ties to the communities in which we serve."

To mark International Credit Union Day, FirstOntario is launching a public awareness campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of a community-based credit union over Canada's big banks. The campaign's website (www.MyOwnBank.ca) offers visitors the opportunity to take a short quiz to see if a credit union is right for them.

Membership in FirstOntario Credit Union is open to anyone living in Ontario. FirstOntario serves nearly 90,000 Members with a full suite of banking products including chequing and savings accounts, mortgages, lines of credit, loans, investments, insurance, expert wealth management and commercial services.

In 2012, FirstOntario introduced several new accounts to help Members manage cash flow and thrive, including the launch of an industry-first $25 flat-fee small business account. They also offer a full suite of personal banking services including the Be FREE Chequing account, with no monthly charge, no minimum balance and unlimited deposits, withdrawals and bill payments.

"The credit union difference means we share profits and decision-making with the people who use our services," said Schurman. "We are both financially and ethically accountable to our members, which means that in additional to low rates and fees, we ensure our profits go back into the communities where we do business."

A number of recent regulatory changes will soon make it possible for credit unions in Canada to operate federally. While federal credit unions will maintain the characteristics of a credit union, they will gain the benefits of being regulated by the Bank Act, allowing them to enhance their role as a vital competitor in Canada's financial sector. According to the Credit Union of Central Canada, credit unions across Canada currently manage more than $140 billion in assets.

About FirstOntario Credit Union

In business since 1939, FirstOntario Credit Union has more than $2.9 billion in funds under management, serves over 85,000 Members and offers a full suite of banking products including daily banking, mortgages, lines of credit, loans and investments. FirstOntario operates 21 full-service branches and two satellite branches serving 13 communities across the Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, Haldimand/Norfolk and Oxford regions and Membership at FirstOntario is open to anyone. FirstOntario is a proud advocate of the communities we serve and supports many important community organizations. FirstOntario is a founding sponsor for Hive Hamilton, and supports Co-operative Young Leaders (CYL) and youth at risk through Soupfest. FirstOntario also offers a scholastic bursary program and a microlending program in the Hamilton and Niagara regions. For more information please visit: www.FirstOntarioCU.com and www.MyOwnBank.ca.

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