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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New Government Proposals

Today the BC Ministry of Finance issued its consultation paper on changes to the Financial Institutions Act and the Credit Union Incorporation Act.  The first 43 of the 68 recommendations relate to general issues and credit unions; the remainder being related to insurance and trusts. As a package, the government has responded well to BC […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Are Real Credit Unions FCU*d?

Real credit unions may have to reconsider their strategic options. History was made with the FICOM approval of the Coast Capital Saving application to be ‘continued’ as a Federal Credit Union (FCU). This action has the potential to totally restructure the BC credit union system.  While the commission did say that would consider the impact […]

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Regulatory Arbitrage

This is a new frontier for credit unions.  Regulatory Arbitrage is a big part of decision-making in large corporate entities as they choose where and how to do business.  The issue is the potential impact of requirements in certain legal jurisdictions; differing requirements drive corporate structures, governance practices, business strategies, investments, business location, staffing, and, […]

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Bankers` Long Game

warning

Consolidation and cartel building is the long term strategy of the Big Banks and it seems to go on without much alarm.  This is partly because of their patience and partly because other players are distracted by other things; technology, risk management, new capital rules, new liquidity monitoring tools,  mortgage insurance changes, etc..  But these […]

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Privatizing Credit Unions Incrementally

A headline in Enterprise Magazine provoked me.  The text talked about ‘… collectivizing Canada’s provincial centrals and CUSO’s’ when it was introducing an article on the restructuring and streamlining of second tier entities.  In fact the reverse is true.  In our quest for greater efficiencies (and scale), control is being concentrated in fewer and fewer […]

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