Credit unions united have the power to enact positive change and have a transformative role in shaping Canadians' future, the Canadian Credit Unions Association (CCUA) leader told attendees at a global gathering of credit union representatives.
"Let us join forces to take on the challenges ahead, not just as problems to overcome, but with a growth mindset of the promising opportunities for the future for us as a sector," CCUA President and CEO Jeff Guthrie states. "The future of the credit union movement is bright in Canada and worldwide."
Guthrie's speech was part of the kickoff for the 2023 World Credit Union Conference (WCUC) in Vancouver, which marked a significant milestone as it is the first time in a decade that Canada has hosted this global event.
In his address, Guthrie highlighted the unwavering commitment of Canadian credit unions to building a better future for individuals and communities. With a focus on tailor-made financial services and personalized support, credit unions in Canada place the needs and aspirations of their members at the forefront.
A continued commitment to excellence
This dedication to exceptional customer service has been recognized through the Ipsos Financial Service Excellence Award for Customer Service, which Canadian credit unions have received for an impressive 18 consecutive years.
Over six million Canadians outside of Quebec are served by credit unions; this number swells to over 10 million, one in four Canadians when you include Quebec. And over 60,000 Canadians work for a credit union or caisse populaire.
Credit unions are seamlessly woven into the fabric of communities from coast to coast to coast.
"From the start, the success of credit unions has been, and always will be, people helping people. It's in our DNA and spelled out in our guiding principles," Guthrie said.
"We have an abundance of talent, passion, and creativity within this sector."
Guided by cooperative principles, credit unions operate with the fundamental belief of putting members' needs first. This ethos fosters a collaborative and supportive environment, focusing on the well-being of its members rather than solely maximizing profits.
When you join a credit union, you become a member and an owner. This distinction ensures a more personalized banking experience where your voice matters. Credit unions operate on a cooperative model, allowing members to have a say in decision-making processes.
Collective action with a focus on community
Credit unions place a strong emphasis on the communities they serve. They actively contribute to local initiatives, promote financial literacy and support programs that enable homeownership. For members, banking with a credit union means directly supporting the well-being of its community.
Amidst the challenges of income inequality, financial uncertainty, and evolving regulations, Guthrie called for unity and collective action within the credit union sector. He emphasized the power of the cooperative spirit that unites credit unions globally, recognizing its potential to effect positive change.
As WCUC 2023 progresses, 3000 participants from across the world are poised to collaborate, innovate, and celebrate the credit union movement. The future of Canadian credit unions and their global impact appears promising, driven by its members' collective efforts and dedication.
To learn more about credit unions in Canada, visit canadascreditunions.ca.