Hubert - merger with Access CU (Accelerate Financial) | Hubert Financial | Discussion forum

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Hubert - merger with Access CU (Accelerate Financial)
January 18, 2022
9:08 pm
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 8129
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I "attended", by Zoom, the meeting where the proposal was discussed last evening.

Here are the main points I got out of it:
The emphasis is on 'efficiencies' not growth.
Unclear what those efficiencies are exactly as they have no plans to close branches where they exist and no intention of reducing staff. All staff have been guaranteed jobs.
Unsurprisingly, they want to beef up their 'wealth management' offerings etc.
They claim that any changes will be made slowly and thoughtfully, attempting to utilize the best practices of each entity. (How do you define what's "best"?)
They are aware that Hubert is known for its great customer service.
The woman who seems to run Hubert is called Tara.
The CEO of Hubert's parent Sunova is named Ed and is going to retire this year after 40 years. I think he is to be replaced by Larry.
Someone asked about the apparent impact of CU mergers being that deposit rates go down, but this was essentially denied; they claim that rates have to be competitive for the FI to survive. Try telling that to RBC etc!sf-laugh
This merger will make Access the biggest CU in MB.
Questions that would have required a detailed answer were avoided and were said to be inappropriate for this forum.
The transition will happen officially on July 1, 2022.
Acceptance requires a 2/3 majority of those who vote in each CU. In order for it to go through, at least 2 CUs must approve and one of those must be Access.
There is no guarantee that fees will not be introduced.
They want to introduce patronage dividends.
If Sunova members turn this down, Sunova admin will look for other merger possibilities, so we'll never be rid of this boondoggle. This may in fact be the best of possible options.
They do not feel pressured to do this by the banks. Rather, it is the fintechs that are creating the pressure on both the banks and the CUs. (Hence, Concentra/Neo/)
They are quite interested in possibly going Federal. (That has never turned into anything useful from Coast Capital as far as I know.)

My impression was that they are trying hard to proceed with caution and with regard for the strengths of Hubert, but I don't trust that exemplary rates will be the result. The only promise that mattered to me was that no employees would lose their jobs. From my perspective, everything else that mattered was still up in the air and would not be decided until some time after the merger was complete.

I will probably vote against it. I must protest the lack of detail on plans and rationale and the implication that we should just trust them to do what is best for us, and this is the only mechanism I have. I'm pretty sure it will pass without me.
For a CU to become the largest in MB does not bode well. Look at the deposit rates in the other largest CUs in the country and you do not see the best rates there; and even worse at the largest banks.
However, I can understand why people might support the merger, as the alternatives of not merging are equally unclear.

January 19, 2022
4:23 am
JenE
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 360
Member Since:
May 24, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you Loonie.

January 19, 2022
5:08 am
christinad
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 287
Member Since:
October 15, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for sharing. I feel like their 1 year cashable gic at the rates offered is a unique product and I'd be sorry to see it go.

January 19, 2022
5:37 am
canadian.100
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 560
Member Since:
September 7, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Loonie said
The emphasis is on 'efficiencies' not growth.
Unclear what those efficiencies are exactly as they have no plans to close branches where they exist and no intention of reducing staff. All staff have been guaranteed jobs. Someone asked about the apparent impact of CU mergers being that deposit rates go down, but this was essentially denied; they claim that rates have to be competitive for the FI to survive. Try telling that to RBC etc!sf-laugh
This merger will make Access the biggest CU in MB.

If efficiencies are to be achieved and not growth, not sure why they say that no branches would be closed or any staff terminated - maintaining branches and related salaries are a major expense - at this point, they probably want to avoid panic and do not want the best staff to leave nor do they want present clients to leave.
Level of interest rates to be offered after merger is probably the main interest of people here. I suspect the level of rates to be offered after merger may not be the same as what Hubert offers presently - so no doubt in my mind that RBC will survive while the amalgamated new CU (to be the largest CU in MB) could have significant challenges.

January 19, 2022
6:52 am
Winnie
Ontario
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 372
Member Since:
December 7, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I will vote against this merger.
Hubert is fine, no merger needed in my opinion.
When this actual vote take place?

January 19, 2022
7:11 am
cgouimet
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
February 7, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

christinad said
Thanks for sharing. I feel like their 1 year cashable gic at the rates offered is a unique product and I'd be sorry to see it go.  

That 1 Year Quarterly GIC is one the main reasons I bank there. Another is for the MB CU unlimited deposit protection. Their HISA rates is generally quite good, never the best but quite good.

Customer Service is top notch ...

I will probably vote for this because they seem intent on going bigger and the list of good potential "partners" partners is getting shorter.

CGO
January 19, 2022
8:34 am
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 8129
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

In response to some of the issues raised above...

I missed the first ten minutes or so, so it's possible they addressed where the efficiencies would be found during that time.

The threat they perceive from fintechs is more in the near future than in the present and will affect CUs AND banks. I find it difficult to assess he impact of this as I don't understand it very well. To make matters worse, as far as I know, fintechs are not yet regulated. They were explicit that banks are not a threat to CUs in MB, which corresponds to what I already understood about the financial industry in MB, where CUs have always been very popular and many communities have been abandoned by banks.
I wouldn't assume that voting against the merger will necessarily preserve Hubert in the form we have come to appreciate it. Part of the problem about this proposal is that we don't really know what the alternative will look like. Clearly the Boards of Directors feel a merger is necessary.

It's possible some people will lose their jobs at some future date if things don't go as well as hoped, but that could happen in any situation. I had the impression they were anticipating that more/different job opportunities would emerge as they get more into wealth management etc. While growth is not the excuse for the merger, some kinds of growth may be anticipated. From my observations, an increase in wealth management clients seems to be the goal/salvation of every FI these days, so hang on to your hats, folks - and your wallets.

It's possible that some branches may be closed at a later date, but this too could happen even without merger. They cited example of two branches in close proximity, one from one of the constituent CUs and another from another one. They said both are currently very busy branches and that they would not be able to close one because there would be no place for those members to go due to lack of room. Reminded me of the old joke about Canada (or was it just Toronto?) being a place where there was a bank on every corner, which was certainly the model when I was growing up in TO. For these CUs, it would not be more efficient to close one branch. It might make sense if there is enough migration to online banking; otherwise, they'd have to close both branches and build a bigger one, which may not be efficient either.
Again, the bottom line is that there are many unknowns about the future, and they are asking us to trust them.

Sunova CEO Ed said he would be open to answering members' questions, although I don't know how one would get through to him.

Voting starts Jan 25 and goes to 27, but you need to watch the specific hours. If you have only a joint account, only the primary account holder can vote.

January 19, 2022
8:52 am
christinad
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 287
Member Since:
October 15, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Here's the link to register for voting. Was easy enough

https://www.happysavings.ca/2022/01/06/merger-member-forum/

January 19, 2022
12:34 pm
Dean
Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 947
Member Since:
January 12, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Winnie said

I will vote against this merger.
Hubert is fine, no merger needed in my opinion.
When this actual vote take place?  

Voting details, etc.

.
Like most everyone else, I'll probably vote 'Yea'.

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long And Prosper " sf-cool

January 19, 2022
12:37 pm
mmlt
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 137
Member Since:
February 4, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My long time credit union merged with First West several years back. I cannot say the merger was benificial. Crappy rates and I have to talk to someone at a distant branch about my investments. I'm suspicious they've laid off some reps locally but the info is not forthcoming.

I'm not voting for the hubert merger.

January 19, 2022
4:55 pm
pooreva
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 324
Member Since:
April 2, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dean said
Like most everyone else, I'll probably vote 'Yea'.

    Dean

  

Like most????

I see more nea then yea.

See what Scotia did with ING? Interest rates 0.1% and lottery for better rates.
If we lose 1year gic with quarterly redemption I do not know where to park few bucks I have with Hubert.

January 20, 2022
6:45 am
gicjunkie
Ontario
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 553
Member Since:
November 7, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sorry Dean. Although I usually enjoy your insights and humour, I don't feel that following like a lemming is the best choice. Larger, when it comes to FIs, is often not better for the customers. It usually comes with less personalized service, higher service fees and less competitive interest rates on deposits.

I agree with the skeptics above. It's a definite NO for me.

January 20, 2022
7:37 am
cgouimet
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
February 7, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pooreva said

Like most????

I see more nea then yea.

See what Scotia did with ING? Interest rates 0.1% and lottery for better rates.
If we lose 1year gic with quarterly redemption I do not know where to park few bucks I have with Hubert.  

I agree that the Scotia/ING deal was not not the best for ING customers but it was not a merger. It was an acquisition by Scotia Bank from the Dutch parent, not a merger ...

CGO
January 20, 2022
7:41 am
cgouimet
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
February 7, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

In the current environment, all the smallest players run the risk of eventually being acquired and decimated in the interest of consolidation, effectiveness and productivity. Merging with like "competitors" is wise to gain strength and protection from larger predators.

I'm a yea ...

CGO
January 20, 2022
9:20 am
gicjunkie
Ontario
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 553
Member Since:
November 7, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

cgouimet said
In the current environment, all the smallest players run the risk of eventually being acquired and decimated in the interest of consolidation, effectiveness and productivity. Merging with like "competitors" is wise to gain strength and protection from larger predators.

I'm a yea ...  

Problem is that these mergers create the large predators.

January 20, 2022
9:22 am
cgouimet
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
February 7, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

gicjunkie said

Problem is that these mergers create the large predators.  

Maybe but, better to be the predator than the prey...

CGO
January 20, 2022
10:37 am
Dean
Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 947
Member Since:
January 12, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dean said

. . . Like most everyone else, I'll probably vote 'Yea'.
 

When I said; "Like most everyone else ... ", I wasn't referring to our little cub here. I was referring to 'All' the members of the three CU's involved.

Just because Hubert works fairly well for most of us, as it is ... it doesn't mean this merger is a bad thing.

Think Again,

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long And Prosper " sf-cool

January 20, 2022
11:11 am
gicjunkie
Ontario
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 553
Member Since:
November 7, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

cgouimet said
In the current environment, all the smallest players run the risk of eventually being acquired and decimated in the interest of consolidation, effectiveness and productivity. Merging with like "competitors" is wise to gain strength and protection from larger predators.

I'm a yea ...  

cgouimet said

Maybe but, better to be the predator than the prey...  

Double talk at its best. You can't have it both ways.

January 20, 2022
11:33 am
cgouimet
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
February 7, 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

gicjunkie said

cgouimet said

Maybe but, better to be the predator than the prey...  

Double talk at its best. You can't have it both ways.  

Not if you read what I actually wrote...

Too much emoting in this thread. Have a good day...

CGO
January 20, 2022
12:38 pm
Loonie
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 8129
Member Since:
October 21, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

There is truth in both camps, which doesn't make this decision easy, at least for me.

There is no question, in my experience, that mergers mean lower rates for us, often worse customer service, etc. The so-called 'efficiencies' are not obvious from our end.

The case for merger includes the idea that it is necessary in the long run for the CU's survival. This may actually be true, but the problem is that I have not heard the case for this clearly presented.
I'm still waiting for a clear answer on this question. All I heard so far was that efficiencies were needed and would presumably improve the bottom line and that fintechs are a threat, but no details.

I am willing to consider these issues as possible valid reasons for merger, but the absence of detail leaves me no choice but to vote "no".

I can't help but think of other small CUs that I belong to. One of them sends out absolutely no emails or postal mail except the T5 and I never hear from them, but they have given me some of the best rates possible from time to time. It's a pleasure not to be bombarded with junk (e)mail.
Another small CU that I belong to sends only twice yearly statements, no other communication except T5. They tell me that, according to a criterion used by CUs (I forget the details unfortunately), they are one of the most successful in the province. And they have good rates.

By contrast, the 3 large CUs that i belong to give very mediocre rates most of the time. I will be dropping one of them in March. I will keep the other two because they have bricks and mortar and longer phone access hours, which I sometimes need.

With the small CUs, I can talk to the CEO if I need to. I doubt I'd ever get through to the CEOs of the large ones.

I think they might consider other models than mergers. I'm no expert, but perhaps they could consider federations of small CUs, where they use some back room work and technology in common but keep their service models unique.

I am somewhat alarmed that the case has not been clearly made. Maybe there really is a good case but it is not being well communicated. I would like to be able to consider it seriously, but the "father knows best" model is not doing it for me.

No permission to create posts

Please write your comments in the forum.