Co-operate or Merge – Mountain Style

Today’s announcement from seven credit unions in the BC interior is a shocker and clear evidence that smaller, up country credit unions are in a strategic bind.  The announcement says that formal talks are underway to explore the potential for a merger of the seven credit unions; Columbia Valley, Creston, East Kootenay, Grand Forks, Heritage, Kootenay […]

Continue reading


Court Action Challenges Coast Capital Decision

A member of Coast Capital Savings is seeking a BC Supreme Court judicial review of Coast’s application to become a bank, specifically the provincial regulatory approval.  Coast is pursuing plans to convert to a ‘federal credit union’ under the Bank Act (Canada), which is defined as a bank that is cooperatively owned.  But to do […]

Continue reading


Consolidation Threat

I had an OpEd published Thursday in the Vancouver Sun.  On the occasion of International Credit Union Day, it speaks to the declining number of traditional credit unions in BC. I reproduce the text here for those who may have missed it. ——————————————————————————————————————————- On International Credit Union Day, it’s worth remembering a few things about […]

Continue reading


Credit Unions are Revolutionary

As this is International Credit Union Day it may be the right time to speak up about the roots of our credit unions, and the ‘revolutionary’ role they play in the larger political economy.  This is most evident in developing countries, such as Ghana, where one of our staff at CCEC recently visited.  But it […]

Continue reading


OSFI puts it to Provinces?

The recently announced B-20 Guideline from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) places new income qualifications on borrowers when obtaining a conventional mortgage at federally-regulated financial institutions (FRFI), mostly banks.  Borrowers will have to prove they can afford a loan at @200bp above the quoted rate. The tougher debt servicing test is […]

Continue reading


Fair Taxes

The recent proposals from the federal government to reduce certain tax advantages available to small business has met strident resistance from those who may have to pay more tax, and from others who just want to slag the Minister.  The Minister has argued that the special provisions give too many benefits to the very wealthy. […]

Continue reading


Commercial Loans & Economic Development

For several months Central 1 has sought a concession from the BC government on the capital required for a commercial loan portfolio if the portfolio exceeds 30% of a credit union’s total assets.  Currently, under the Capital Requirements Regulation, if the level of commercial lending breaches that threshold the excess amount requires twice the capital […]

Continue reading


Debt and Housing Bubbles

More commentary has come out on the exceptional levels of household debt in Canada.  These sometimes speak directly to the issue, such as described in the Borrowing Binge in the Vancouver Sun, or as a negative outlook provided by Moody’s when assessing the exposure of Canada’s banks.  The latter makes explicit references the level of […]

Continue reading


Director Training Trap

Central 1 is now canvasing credit unions on what the ‘mandatory’ director training program should look like.  The survey is well thought out and to be welcomed, but the implications and the potential conflicts of interests need to be considered.  The current one year Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) program will be expanded into a […]

Continue reading


Trimming Excessive Home Ownership Subsidies

While the cost of housing has prompted much debate, too little attention is on the heavy subsidies granted to residential real estate investment and the way in which these subsidies have caused price inflation. Fortunately, the Government of Canada mortgage insurance program is being scaled back.  The restrictions introduced late in 2016 are ‘cooling the […]

Continue reading