Community News

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Members continue to drive credit union success

Credit unions across Manitoba — including our own — enjoyed a very successful 2012 and if you’re curious why, look no further than the nearest mirror.
Credit unions are driven by members like you and last year thousands more Manitobans became members of a credit union. In fact, more than 585,000 Manitobans now count themselves as credit union members. That’s roughly 47 per cent of the 1.25 million people that live in our province.
The growth wasn’t limited to memberships either. The Manitoba credit union system’s assets increased by $2.16 billion, reaching $21.35 billion. That represents an 11.3 per cent increase, which is consistent with recent years. There was growth in lending as well, which increased by $1.6 billion — up 10.3 per cent over 2011, with residential mortgages and commercial real estate leading the way.
The strong financial performance of credit unions can be attributed to the highly competitive products and services offered to members. Market research revealed that 57 per cent of credit union members say they are “very satisfied” with their credit union, compared to 28 per cent of customers of other financial institutions.
Credit unions helping members and members helping credit unions — it doesn’t get much more co-operative than that.

Sidebar: National results also impressive

Credit union success isn’t limited to Manitoba. Across Canada, member-owned financial co-operatives are growing.
According to statistics gathered by Credit Union Central of Canada, credit unions and caisses populaires across the country (outside Quebec) ended 2012 with $152.5 billion in assets, representing an 8.8 per cent increase over the $140.2 billion reported at year-end 2011.
 “The impressive fourth quarter results reflect Canadian credit unions’ commitment to growing their business and are further evidence of the strength of the credit union sys­tem,” commented David Phillips, president and CEO, Credit Union Central of Canada.“Strong performance results also suggest that Canadian credit unions’ continued focus on providing excellent service to their members and to their communities is the right ap­proach.”

Financing your home renovation

Now that the warm weather has (finally!) arrived on the Prairies, thoughts may turn to major purchases such as a new home.
But if you are a homeowner, before checking out the real estate market you might first weigh the benefits of investing time and money on improvements to your current residence. Remaining in the comfort and familiarity of your home and neighbourhood may appeal to you and the cost of home improvements may be reasonable. 
Work can range from painting the house exterior to renovating the entire interior or constructing an addition. For the cost of smaller jobs, such as painting a room, you may find that your credit card, line of credit or personal savings can come in handy. But when the project is too expensive to be paid for in this way, you may consider a loan. And if you decide on a major home renovation, you may find it more economical to add the cost to your existing mortgage.
Whether your home improvement is simply cosmetic or a major upgrade, your credit union can provide information to help you make the best financial decision.

Line of credit can make purchases possible

If you need to purchase items such as household appliances or furniture but find that your funds are tight, why not approach North Winnipeg Credit Union about a line of credit?
Set at a pre-determined limit, a line of credit has a much lower interest rate than credit cards. However, the limit is established much in the same way, starting off low and increasing as you prove your ability to pay it off. You can pay off the full amount at any time and interest accumulates only on the outstanding credit. Deposits made to your account immediately go toward paying off any outstanding balance on your line of credit.

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