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Another potential consolidation in MB
December 6, 2023
2:10 pm
Rail Baron
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Just received an email from Westoba Credit Union that they are considering merging with Assiniboine Credit Union and Caisse Financial Group. Details can be found here:

https://collaborationmb.ca/eng

The urge to merge in Manitoba continues!

December 6, 2023
2:52 pm
AltaRed
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On the latest list of 100 largest CUs outside Quebec, that would mean #15 plus #31 plus #36 merging to become a new #6.

That would put it up in the same league as Steinbach and Access, and likely cause many of the remaining 9 or so to more rapidly find a dancing partner. If one really thinks about it, why would a province of 1.4 million population (the population of metro Calgary) have more than 3-6 CUs anyway?

December 9, 2023
8:41 am
RetirEd
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There's a tradition of small, local credit unions serving a specialized population. Sometimes even workers at a particular employer.

But this may not be the case much longer, the way things are going.

RetirEd

December 9, 2023
1:58 pm
phrank
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It's like the traditional credit union is going the way of the wooden grain elevator. In the end it only benefits the few at the expense of the many and why credit unions are supposed to turn a profit now.... the entire credit union model is dead.

December 9, 2023
2:19 pm
Norman1
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I'm not surprised when those specialized populations no longer have the challenges that the credit unions used to help with.

Credit unions certainly don't add anything by offering "me-too" products that the large banks already offer. For example, personal bank accounts that nickel-and-dime like the ones offered by the large banks.

December 9, 2023
3:11 pm
AltaRed
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phrank said
It's like the traditional credit union is going the way of the wooden grain elevator. In the end it only benefits the few at the expense of the many and why credit unions are supposed to turn a profit now.... the entire credit union model is dead.  

It is not about profit. It is about making enough in the spread to keep the lights on, and at the same time delivering competitive deposit and loan rates, and other services. If the aggregate of those things do not happen, there is no reason for members to stay.

December 9, 2023
3:36 pm
phrank
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AltaRed said

It is not about profit. It is about making enough in the spread to keep the lights on, and at the same time delivering competitive deposit and loan rates, and other services. If the aggregate of those things do not happen, there is no reason for members to stay.  

From my experience and people in the industry I know, that's not the case. It's about increasing the bottom line and overall sphere of power. Of course I'm sure some happen exactly for the reasons you outline, but I don't believe that's always the case and I know from first hand knowledge cases where concerns of the membership had nothing to do with it.

In this particular case have no idea what I'm talking about and was expressing my general disdain. So you could be 100% on your analysis with regards to MAXA and many others in this situation.

December 9, 2023
3:38 pm
phrank
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Norman1 said
I'm not surprised when those specialized populations no longer have the challenges that the credit unions used to help with.

Credit unions certainly don't add anything by offering "me-too" products that the large banks already offer. For example, personal bank accounts that nickel-and-dime like the ones offered by the large banks.  

You're so right in that aspect. The sense of community service provided in the past in many industries doesn't seem to exist much if at all anymore.

December 9, 2023
4:04 pm
Norman1
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Organizations can change over time and not always for the better. Sometimes, there is more talk than walk that matches up to the talk.

I wrote this about Vancity a while back. The article VanCity, I’m so tired of you mentioned is a dose of reality:

Norman1 said (March 2016)
VanCity is still around. I looked at them decades ago when all the glowing write-ups were sprouting up all over the press.

I think they were leaders because of their size. I don't remember their products being so outstanding that I wished I lived on the west coast and could become a member. I suspected there was more feel-good hype than substance.

I just had a look. VanCity Jumpstart High Interest Savings account pays 0.7% per annum. Withdrawals are a hefty $5 each! sf-surprised Wonder what their members think when they hear about Tangerine's savings account: 0.8% and unlimited free withdrawals.

VanCity one-year non-redeemable GIC: 1.05% (1.2% if one "qualifies"). Peoples Trust (also in Vancouver) one-year GIC is 1.95%, everyone qualifies.

I found this article VanCity, I’m so tired of you by one VanCity member who eventually discovered that HSBC and Bank of Montreal (two profit-hungry banks) were more useful and helpful.  

December 10, 2023
12:18 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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AltaRed said
On the latest list of 100 largest CUs outside Quebec, that would mean #15 plus #31 plus #36 merging to become a new #6.

That would put it up in the same league as Steinbach and Access, and likely cause many of the remaining 9 or so to more rapidly find a dancing partner. If one really thinks about it, why would a province of 1.4 million population (the population of metro Calgary) have more than 3-6 CUs anyway?  

#7 or #8, as you missed the expected consummation of Servus and Connect First credit unions in Alberta. I expect Alberta to have only a single, provincial credit union within 5 years. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

December 10, 2023
1:19 pm
AltaRed
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Servus is #4 and the addition of First Connect #11 would still leave the MB merger at #6. Servus would just move up the order to #2 or #3.

SK and MB are both outliers with circa 14 CUs each serving populations of about 1.5 million each.

May 1, 2024
9:32 am
Rail Baron
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Latest advice from the Board of Westoba credit union recommending that members vote for the merger:

Over the last few months, the Boards of Directors of Assiniboine, Caisse and Westoba reviewed a business case that was prepared following a comprehensive merger exploration due diligence exercise. After careful consideration, they are recommending a merger to the memberships of the caisse and credit unions. We’re confident that this merger isn’t just a good idea, it is a merger that is filled with possibilities and it’s imperative for our future.

Our members want more options to bank when and where they need to, and the right tools to succeed financially. This merger will enhance our ability to offer new products and services with competitive rates and fees, continue focusing on cybersecurity, increase access to specialized expertise, and better position us to invest in the digital banking experiences members expect. Your deposits in a merged credit union will continue to be 100% guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba.

If the proposed merger is approved by members in a June vote, the new credit union would be the only purpose-driven financial co-operative in the province to carry both a French and an English name. Assiniboine Credit Union / Caisse Assiniboine will have extensive geographic reach, from north to south and east to west in Manitoba, offer French language services, and will serve both urban and rural members through a values-based approach to banking.

Following a thorough selection process, all three boards have unanimously recommended current Assiniboine President & CEO Kevin Sitka as President & CEO of the new organization. Caisse CEO Joël Rondeau and I, Westoba President & CEO Jim Rediger, will continue in leadership roles to support the post-merger entity.

To continue meeting the needs and wants of our members, we should merge now. If we wait, mergers will continue to happen all around us. With the landscape changing so quickly and dramatically, it’s imperative to merge now as strong partners. As a co-operative member, you decide where we go next.

We’re committed to communicating openly and regularly. To learn more about the proposed merger and to find answers to frequently asked questions, visit http://www.CollaborationMB.ca.

'The future of our organizations is in your good hands. We are asking you to support this merger for our members, employees, and communities. Vote YES and OUI. It’s imperative.

June 9, 2024
9:36 am
Rail Baron
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Voting is now open on the amalgamation of Assiniboine, Caisse and Westoba credit unions. The polls close June 19, when there will be a special meeting of members to consider the amalgamation.

There is an asterisk on the special meeting information that reads:

"Subject to the Board Chair’s discretion to extend the time for voting if the Special Resolution is still under discussion at the Special Members’ Meeting at that time."

That suggests a "No" outcome is not going to happen. The options are likely to be "Yes" or an extension of the voting process.

June 19, 2024
9:06 pm
Rail Baron
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Voting has closed and all three Credit Unions voted for amalgamation. Westoba was 88% in favour; Caisse voted 84% for, and; Assiniboine voted 89% in favour of the merger.

Please write your comments in the forum.