Community News

Friday, August 2, 2013

Credit unions continue to give back to local communities

Every year, Manitoba’s credit unions give back to the communities they serve in a variety of different ways. Whether it’s through charitable donations, scholarships, community sponsorships or volunteer hours, credit unions continue to support their communities.
In 2012, that support once again reached impressive heights. Collectively, Manitoba’s credit unions gave just under $3.5 million back to their communities in the form of sponsorships ($1.66 million to community initiatives and groups) and donations ($1.8 million to charity). Credit unions also provided a further $480,000 in in-kind donations.
The support didn’t stop there, though. Twenty-two credit unions donated a total of 14,620 volunteer hours so their employees could help out in their communities. Additionally, 20 credit unions provided discounted services to community organizations — discounts totaling nearly $100,000.
Manitoba’s credit unions also understand the importance of education and supporting the province’s youth, which is why 34 credit unions, Credit Union Central of Manitoba and the Credit Union Managers Association of Manitoba awarded cash bursaries worth $144,600 to 242 Manitoba students to further their educations.
Finally, credit unions also support their communities in one other important way: by returning profits to their members, thereby returning money back to the communities they serve. In 2012, Manitoba’s credit unions returned a total of $12.45 million to members through the allocation of surplus shares ($7.78 million) and cash ($4.66 million). Members also received an additional $5.2 million in share redemptions and dividends on surplus shares.

Canadians demonstrating more financial control: study

A recent study conducted by Equifax Canada has found that during this time of economic uncertainty, Canadians are demonstrating more financial restraint and controlling their spending.
Equifax, one of the two major credit bureaus in Canada (the other being TransUnion), released the report earlier this year, noting in it that consumer debt repayment speed is changing. The study found that the percentage of unpaid non-mortgage debt going into 90-day delinquency had declined from 1.39 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.19 per cent by the fourth quarter of the year.
What do those results mean? According to Equifax, past studies have shown that during times of economic volatility or high unemployment, consumers have traditionally taken on more debt (usually in the form of loans) and taken longer to repay those debts. Instead, Canadians seem to be exhibiting more financial control this time around, not going crazy and spending when they shouldn’t be spending.
If you have questions or concerns about your level of debt, please visit our credit union. We’d be happy to work with you to assess your financial needs.

Small business a big focus for credit unions

When it comes to meeting the financial needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), no financial institution works harder than credit unions.
According to the 2012 Finance and Banking Needs research report, released earlier this year by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), credit unions outperformed all banks in serving the SME market, with a top-ranking overall score of 7.4 out of 10. SMEs also rated credit unions higher than banks in the individual categories of financing, fees and account management.
“We are thrilled, but not surprised, that Canadian credit unions were viewed so positively by small businesses,” said David Phillips, the president and CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada. “Credit unions are advocates for small business members, with deep roots in the communities they serve and a commitment to helping local businesses prosper. Their success is our success.”
Among small businesses (five to 49 employees), credit unions earned a top score of 7.4 out of 10. With mid-sized businesses (50 to 499 employees), credit unions achieved a score of 8.5 out of 10.
“The results are a testament to the wide appeal of credit unions among small businesses of all sizes,” Phillips said. “Canadian small businesses understand that credit unions care about what they care about — a willingness to lend, reasonable fees that reflect service level and quality, accessible account managers who understand their financial needs, and personal service that reflects the human touch.”
If you own a small business and would like more from your financial institution, why not stop in and see us? We look forward to working together with you.

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