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Hubert happysavings at 2.5%
July 7, 2011
2:26 pm
NorthernRaven
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I hadn't been here for awhile - was Hubert not added to the chart? They seem to have bumped their rate up to 2.5% last month, and got rid of the $2.50 withdrawal fee at some point.

July 8, 2011
12:55 pm
stylintheo
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I am going to open an account with them asap

July 8, 2011
6:41 pm
Doug
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Actually, I've been saying Sunova Credit Union's Hubert Financial division should be added to the high-interest savings chart for awhile now. With them eliminating the hefty debit transaction fees, all the more reason to add them.

Moreover, they have online banking functionality and PDF-based eStatements. Further, external bank accounts are linked in the ultra-efficient, electronic fashion vis a vis Ally (that is, they make a small EFT deposit to your linked external account and you go online and key in the amount of that deposit to verify your account). Plus, they do "soft" credit reference checks, not "hard" checks like the other Manitoba credit unions.

Below is a conversation I had, via online chat, with Hubert Financial representative Denis:

Please wait while we route your call to the next available agent who will help you with your question: "I am pleased to see Hubert Financial has removed i...".
Agent Denis has received your message and will be right with you.
Please wait, connecting to server...
Connected!
Thank you for your interest in Hubert Financial, how may we help you today?
Denis says:
Sure what questions do you have ?
Doug says:
Hi, Denis. Some banks and credit unions perform what's referred to as a credit-related inquiry on one's credit bureau (a "hard" reference check) whereas others perform a non-credit-related inquiry (a "soft" one). What does Hubert perform? Second, once one has already opened an account and had a credit bureau check (either "hard" or "soft"), do you need to perform a check each time a supplementary savings account or Term Deposit is opened?
Denis says:
It is a "soft" check for the opening process. No other credit inquiries are performed.

Doug says:
Oh, cool. Achieva and Outlook both perform "hard" checks so you are the first Manitoba credit union to do a "soft" check. Great news.
Denis says:
Just another way we do business differently

Doug says:
What is the process for linking external bank accounts to Hubert Financial accounts? Do you support the method Ally uses whereby you make a small deposit of less one $1.00 to one's external account to verify that account or do you have to mail in account linkage forms?
Denis says:
That is correct. The same process as Ally,
Doug says:
Oh, cool. Do you provide an ATM debit card with a PIN and can you use that ATM debit card to make deposits at Acculink credit union ATMs in Canada? If so, how does one change their PIN - via phone banking, mail or through Acculink ATMs?
Denis says:
No at this time we do not provide ATM debit cards. Our initial product is to promote savings and thus had the original $2.50. However, due to members demands and to be competitive, we removed that fee.
Doug says:
Oh, okay. I would recommend issuing deposit-only ATM cards, to promote your "savings" mantra but provide members with an additional way to make deposits other than via EFT or mail. That way, you are still promoting "savings" and increasing access.

That's okay, though. Just two more questions.
Doug says:
Does one need to submit two cheques for the account opening application, one with an initial deposit of $1.00 or more and one with the $5 share purchase?
Denis says:
Sure, the one challenge with issuing ATM cards is the cost
Denis says:
No one cheque will suffice.
Doug says:
Oh okay, you guys just take the $5 share purchase off of the cheque. Can we purchase more than one share by chance?
Denis says:
You certainly can buy additional shares
Doug says:
and does that mean we have voting privileges at AGMs or are they non-voting shares?
Doug says:
Do you offer eStatements or paper statements? My preference would be eStatements in a PDF format.
Denis says:
They are voting shares. You can attend AGMs and vote for Sunova's board members.

Doug says:
Oh okay, cool.
Denis says:
We offer PDF statements which are available online indefinitely
Doug says:
Excellent. You can definitely count me as a strong candidate to open an account - and can put a lead on for me once I send in my account opening application! Can I open a GIC at the same time as a savings account? Your GIC rates are among the highest in the market (without going through a deposit broker) and I am looking for a place to park about $15,000 in a TFSA GIC.
Denis says:
Yes, you can open new accounts / GICS at any time. You are able to this online once your account has been setup. For now, when you select a TFSA GIC, we must personally call you back to ensure you wanted a registered product. We are waiting on the legality to have that changed and are hoping to be able to have that available before the end of the year. The only difference is from our side, let work when a member wishes to open a TFSA account.

Denis says:
Meant to say, that change would make less work for us ( i.e. not have to call you back)

Denis says:
Do you have any other questions for me today ?
Doug says:
No, you've been very helpful. Thank you Denis!
Denis says:
You welcome have a Great day
Denis left this room.

As you can see, he was very helpful. I've completed the online account application and popped my initial deposit cheque (and I even bought more than the required $5 membership equity share, I'm buying 20 shares I'm so confident in their financials!) in the mail. Will let you know how smooth it is! So, Peter, can we please add Hubert Financial? 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

July 9, 2011
5:17 pm
Peter
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I've now added Hubert to the comparison chart and also created a forum for it. Thanks to everybody who has provided analysis and updates on their accounts and company so far.

July 10, 2011
7:56 am
Yatti420
Canada
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I am in the process of setting up an account now..

July 10, 2011
11:49 am
stylintheo
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ya me 2
i sent my deposit on friday

July 10, 2011
2:19 pm
Jordan
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Hello,

I have a question for Doug. What kind of return can a member expect to receive on the purchase of additional shares? Also, what are the tax liabilities on credit union shares? Do they pay out a dividend or are returns considered interest earned?

Thanks,

Jordan

July 10, 2011
2:36 pm
88kanaka
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stylintheo said:

ya me 2
i sent my deposit on friday

I am currently with Outlook and Accelerate and am happy with both. Has any one verified if Hubert is giving better rates just to attract new customers and then will follow suit with the others to to speak? And will the others step up their interest rates to be competitive. While I am firm believer of not putting all of my eggs in one basket and Hubert sounds like they have good customer service and competition is good ... Be cautious what you lock in and what are their fees like for banking and early redemption?

July 10, 2011
6:14 pm
Doug
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88kanaka said:

stylintheo said:

ya me 2
i sent my deposit on friday

I am currently with Outlook and Accelerate and am happy with both. Has any one verified if Hubert is giving better rates just to attract new customers and then will follow suit with the others to to speak? And will the others step up their interest rates to be competitive. While I am firm believer of not putting all of my eggs in one basket and Hubert sounds like they have good customer service and competition is good ... Be cautious what you lock in and what are their fees like for banking and early redemption?

If you lock in, you're locked in that rate. If they do a "bait and switch" and lower their rates and you have the funds in a HISA, you can easily withdraw just as easily as you opened the account. They'd have to lower their rates to below 2.25% to get me to move my money out, however.

As for fees, they eliminated the hefty $2.50 withdrawal fee.

Cheers,
Doug

July 10, 2011
6:19 pm
Doug
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Jordan said:

Hello,

I have a question for Doug. What kind of return can a member expect to receive on the purchase of additional shares? Also, what are the tax liabilities on credit union shares? Do they pay out a dividend or are returns considered interest earned?

Thanks,

Jordan

Good questions, Jordan. I think, logically, there would a tax liability if you cancelled your membership and returned your shares to the credit union (it says the share repurchase is subject to approval of the Board of Directors, since the credit union is the only place you can "sell" them back to). As far as I know, you just redeem the shares for the price you originally paid. The more shares you own, the greater the dividend received, if the Board pays a dividend. I believe they'd be considered dividend income but you'd have to double-check. Again, I'm just guessing on all of these.

My main reason for purchasing extra shares was more of a symbolic sign to show my commitment and to participate in corporate governance initiatives. Plus, should Sunova Credit Union ever receive a takeover offer by a major bank (it does happen, Bank West tried to buy up two credit unions that were trying to merge with Servus Credit Union a few years ago. Servus was ultimately successful but had Bank West been successful, each member would've received anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars based on the price Bank West was willing to pay), one could be rewarded nicely.

Cheers,
Doug

July 10, 2011
6:58 pm
Yatti420
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After signing up and finishing my initial deposit with cheque is it easy to setup auto transfer? Is this even possible? Have to be done manually from Hubert's end?? (as TD Easyweb doesn't support these types of transfers i guess)..

Thanks

July 10, 2011
11:25 pm
Doug
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I would assume auto-transfers would be possible but can't be sure yet. I imagine you just need to set-up a scheduled transfer from within Hubert to withdraw from your TD account and transfer to Hubert. To link your external accounts, supposedly it can all be done online, according to the Hubert rep Denis I spoke to. ;)

Hope this helps,
Doug

July 12, 2011
1:13 am
mike
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Good for Hubert happysavings! I've always been a beliver in them and good to see them push the envelope of savings rates and leave the other banks in the dust.

As soon as it's possible I'm going to say "Bye-bye" to HSBC, close my premier accounts there and join Hubert. 100% in.

Have a great day

July 13, 2011
6:56 am
Monju
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I going to close my ING Savings account as well. 1.5 percent is very low while the inflation rate is 3.7%!!!
I have already send my cheque to Hubert.

July 13, 2011
7:13 am
Jenna
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I signed up last night for Hubert, after being with ING too long. I sent them my first cheque this morning. I had never heard of them before reading this thread as a guest, and then doing my own research after. I will gladly take 2.5% with no withdrawal fees for as long as it lasts.

I too am contemplating purchasing additional stocks, but I am collecting more information first (dividend payout), purchase price (I am not sure if each stock is $5 like the obligatory offering), etc.

July 13, 2011
1:19 pm
NorthernRaven
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As always, make sure you are aware of the difference between CDIC insurance (banks), and Manitoba Deposit Corp. Short of a doomsday event, the Manitoba government is probably not much less likely to backstop their financial system than the feds are the CDIC, but knowledge is always good... :)

FWIW, Sunova (the Hubert people) are around #36 on the Top 100 non-Quebec credit unions, with around $700 million in assets. Presumably they are looking to grow (Hubert and high rates being part of that). The next smallest Manitoba CU HISA (MAXA) comes from Westova, who are around #26 and $1 billion in assets. The biggest is Outlook, whose Assiniboine parent is #8 with $2.8 billion in assets.

July 13, 2011
8:46 pm
Doug
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mike said:

Good for Hubert happysavings! I've always been a beliver in them and good to see them push the envelope of savings rates and leave the other banks in the dust.

As soon as it's possible I'm going to say "Bye-bye" to HSBC, close my premier accounts there and join Hubert. 100% in.

I can totally understand where you're coming from, mike. I hear you. I was hoping with HSBC adopting a tiered rate structure, they'd actually have a very competitive rate when total deposits are over $100,000 but, unfortunately, even ING Direct beats them. :(

Cheers,
Doug

July 13, 2011
8:59 pm
Doug
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Thanks for the background information on credit union deposit insurance and on the Manitoba credit unions, Raven.

I thought I'd add a bit more information as it's an interesting topic. You can get the latest Top 100 Credit Unions in Canada market share report from the national credit union central, Credit Union Central of Canada. It seems to be published at the end of the fourth quarter and second quarter so twice per year. The most recent report was up to and including Q4 2010 and is linked below:

http://www.cucentral.com/Top1004Q10

The largest Manitoba credit union, interestingly is Steinbach Credit Union at #7 in assets ($3.2 billion). They were, until recently, the largest single-branch credit union in Canada but have just started building a few more branches. When you think about it, that's a lot of assets for one branch. Unfortunately, they've yet to launch a virtual banking division like their competitors and I'm looking forward to if and when they do. Assiniboine Credit Union (parent of Outlook Financial) is #8, as Raven mentioned, while Cambrian Credit Union (parent of Achieva Financial) is #10 with $2.1 billion.

AcceleRate's parent Crosstown Civic Credit Union is #23 with $1.2 billion in assets.

Locally, we have quite a few of the larger credit unions with First West Credit Union (#5, $5 billion in assets), Prospera Credit Union (#13, $2 billion) and Interior Savings Credit Union (#14, $1.9 billion) all having a number of branches.

As far as who offers the better rates while also balancing risk of default, you want them not too small but also not too big or they have no incentive to "outflank" the market in terms of really good rates. I would say anywhere from $250 million in assets to $2.5 billion is where you want to be.

Cheers,
Doug

July 13, 2011
9:09 pm
Doug
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Jenna said:

I signed up last night for Hubert, after being with ING too long. I sent them my first cheque this morning. I had never heard of them before reading this thread as a guest, and then doing my own research after. I will gladly take 2.5% with no withdrawal fees for as long as it lasts.

I too am contemplating purchasing additional stocks, but I am collecting more information first (dividend payout), purchase price (I am not sure if each stock is $5 like the obligatory offering), etc.

Good, glad you decided to open an account! Hubert should be paying me (and/or Peter) a commission on referrals. ;)

My understanding is the member equity shares are all $5 each and, of course, are not guaranteed or insured. However, they do provide you an ownership stake in the credit union and any "dividends" paid to members would be higher if you "own" a larger stake. They do provide you with full voting privileges as well.

Hope that helps,
Doug

July 14, 2011
6:09 am
Jenna
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Doug, Hubert just e-mailed me a pdf about their stock purchase plan. In their e-mail to me, they stated:

"The dividend payout for 2010 on shares was 5.65%, and 2.89% paid on dividends already received from the previous year(s)."

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