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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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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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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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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Trust and conflicts of interest at Banks

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada said consumers are being ripped off, when it issued its report on bank sales practices in March.  The  report got far too little attention.  In technocratic language it confirmed that virtually all of Canada’s banks pursue their own interests – not the interests of ordinary people. The primary finding […]

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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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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 […]

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