Ownership Lost

On paper, credit unions are ‘consumer owned’, but the reality is something different.  Cooperative ownership is the unique feature of this form of business, each member-owner has one vote in major decisions, but as credit unions grow the ‘owners’ are eased out.  Their control over the business is lost.  In truth, consolidation means that member-owners, […]

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Small is Beautiful?

The e-Newsletter from the CCUA came out this week with an unusual entry at the top.  This was the text: 100 Largest Credit Unions and Caisses PopulairesThe latest listing of the largest 100 Canadian credit unions and caisses populaires is out. Some of the highlights As of Q2 2018, the largest 100 credit unions and […]

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A Wealthy Person’s Housing Strategy

Canada’s housing strategy is rigged to favour those with big homes and wealth.  We unfortunately argue about the small amounts that are expended on those who really need help, missing the real point.  I applaud those who call the government to account.  Today a blog post at policynote.ca details how the most wealthy have benefited […]

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Credit Union Burdens and Truths

The Ministry of Finance released it’s set of proposals for ‘revising’ the Financial Institutions Act and the Credit Union Incorporation Act back in March.   Credit unions and others were invited to comment.  I took part in some of the credit union system discussions and I think the ‘credit unions of BC’ provided a polite and […]

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A Digital Co-op Bank?

A month ago Central 1 published a short ‘white paper’ outlining their rationale for a ‘Digital Co-op Bank‘. The publication follows quickly on the Central 1 conference and AGM in May where virtually all the presentations related to a pending digital revolution in the financial services industry.  New management at Central 1 is making a […]

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Mortgage Maze

A recent item in the Globe and Mail clearly itemizes the unnecessary complexity regulators have introduced into the mortgage marketplace.  The OSFI B20  guideline succeeds in making mortgage qualification, rate comparison, and prepayment penalty regimes less borrower friendly.  The new guideline may ‘protect consumers’ from themselves and protect banks from excessive risk taking.  However, we […]

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Legislative Innovation

Will BC credit unions truly get anything out of the current legislative review? The credit union conferences have passed, those who attended have been entertained with the tales of digital disruption and organizational transformation.  Many presenters championed the need to ‘think differently’, to pivot, and to look for the new opportunities. More than one McKinsey […]

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Bifurcation?!

We have two different kinds of credit unions in Canada.  This is ‘bifurcation’, as a consultant termed it. They have different profiles, different definitions of success, and different needs from second tier organizations. ‘Consolidation’ was the word that Martha Durdin, CEO of the Canadian Credit Union Association chose to feature in part of her report […]

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Reconciling Credit Unions

Canada’s credit unions endorsed key recommendations of the truth and reconciliation commission today.   At the Canadian Credit Union Association AGM a member resolution, proposed by Affinity Credit Union, was carried by a wide margin.  That was great. One issue went unexplored.  Why are there no first nations based credit unions in this room? The […]

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What is the Difference?

The National Credit Union conference next week has been pitched as exploring the credit union ‘difference’.  It is common to hear the CCUA and some other advocates for credit unions make a general reference to the ‘difference’.  The CCUA home page includes this text: Credit unions are full service financial co-operatives. Like other financial institutions, […]

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