Credit Union Central of Canada

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Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association, or cooperative federation, for credit unions in Canada outside Quebec. It provides representation, government relations, policy research, professional development and conference services for the credit union system.

It is a member of the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Canadian Payments Association and Interac. It also represents Canadian credit unions internationally through the World Council of Credit Unions.

Known informally as Canadian Central, Credit Union Central of Canada has offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

History[edit]

The history of Credit Union Central of Canada traces the development of two different but connected organizations and functions: a national trade association to be a convening body and voice for the system, and a national finance facility to provide liquidity to support for the credit union system.

For most of the first half of the 1900s, the credit union system developed at the provincial level, with neither a national finance facility or a national trade association supporting its growth. However, by the early-1950s active members of the credit union movement succeeded in creating both a national liquidity fund and a distinctly Canadian credit union organization.

National trade association[edit]

Beginning in 1908 and accelerating in the 1930s, credit unions were incorporated provincially in small communities and rural areas of the Maritimes, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia, while in Quebec, a federated caisse populaire network developed very differently from the rest of the country.

The first attempt to create a national association of credit unions took place at the Quebec Congress of the Co-operative Union of Canada in 1943.[1] While these talks failed to make progress, efforts two years later proved more successful. The Canadian Federation of Credit Unions was created in 1945 to “compile statistics on Canadian credit unions; to assist in lobbying for more effective credit union legislation; to assist in education programs on behalf of credit unions; [and] to encourage [provincial credit union] Leagues to affiliate with provincial sections of the Co-operative Union of Canada.”[2]

A short time later, the Canadian Federation of Credit Unions became the Canadian Section of the US-based Credit Union National Association (CUNA), continuing to serve the purpose of providing a discussion forum and lobby group for the credit union system at a national level. In the years that followed, this organization, which had evolved out of the cross-border collaboration that had developed the credit union movement in English-speaking North America, competed for trade association functions with the National Association of Canadian Credit Unions which was founded in 1958.

National finance facility[edit]

In response to the growth of credit unions in communities across Canada, centrals began to be created in the 1930s at the provincial level to provide liquidity, risk management and shared services.[3]

Following years of preparatory work by the provincial centrals and the Co-operative Union of Canada to create a “central of centrals” at the federal level, in 1953 the Canadian Co-operative Credit Society (CCCS) was incorporated by a special act of Parliament.[4] It was created to provide a national financial intermediary at the federal level to support a growing credit union system. For the first few years after its creation, these functions were seldom used.

However, increased sophistication in Canada’s payments system and liquidity demands during the mid-1970s led to increased reliance on the CCCS. In 1977, reflecting “a desire within the Canadian co-operative movement to create a true national liquidity pool”,[5] CCCS was restructured to include nine (up from five) provincial centrals.[6] The increased capitalization that resulted from this, as well as an increasing interest in credit unions from federal policy makers led to CCCS becoming a formidable national organization. As historian Ian MacPherson notes:

“By the late seventies, CCCS was responsible for lobbying with the federal government. It was increasingly more active in providing liquidity for the national system. It was negotiating loans from co-operative banks in Europe and the United States. Thus, for a few years in the late 1970s, 25 years after it had been organized, credit union and co-operative leaders from across the country were giving CCCS the attention it deserved.”[7]''

In 1978, CCCS formally merged with the National Association of Canadian Credit Unions bringing together the finance facility and trade association functions.

In 1993 the Canadian Co-operative Credit Society was renamed Credit Union Central of Canada. Since then, it has been led by four chief executive officers: Brian F. Downey (1986-1995), Bill Knight (1995-2001), Joanne De Laurentiis (2001-2006) and David Phillips (2006–present).

In 2010, Credit Union Central of Canada began the process of replacing or transferring its regulatory responsibilities as a finance facility in order to focus on its activities as a national trade assocition.[8]

Structure and membership[edit]

Credit Union Central of Canada is regulated under the federal Cooperative Credit Associations Act. It is governed by a ten-person board of directors appointed by the five Central member-shareholders.

Credit Union Central of Canada has offices in Toronto and Ottawa. The main office in downtown Toronto provides communications and conference services as well as CUSOURCE Credit Union Knowledge Network, the national learning facility for the credit union system. The Ottawa office provides government relations and advocacy at the federal level, as well as research and policy analysis on credit union issues.

Membership[edit]

Credit Union Central of Canada currently has six members: three provincial credit union Centrals, two regional credit union Centrals and one federation of caisses populaires.

Provincial Centrals[edit]

Regional Centrals[edit]

  • Atlantic Central (Represents credit unions in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)
  • Central 1 Credit Union (Represents credit unions in British Columbia and Ontario)

Federation of caisses populaires[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian MacPherson. Co-operation, Conflict and Consensus: BC Central and the Credit Union Movement to 1994. BC Central Credit Union, Vancouver, 1995, pp. 69.
  2. ^ Ian MacPherson. Co-operation, Conflict and Consensus: BC Central and the Credit Union Movement to 1994. BC Central Credit Union, Vancouver, 1995, pp. 69.
  3. ^ Doug Macdonald, John Jazwinski, Loranine McIntosh. 21st century co-operative: Rewrite the rules of collaboration. Deloitte & Touche LLP, Toronto, 2012, pp. 3.
  4. ^ Ian MacPherson. Building and Protecting the Co-operative Movement: A Brief History of the Co-operative Union of Canada, 1909-1984 Co-operative Union of Canada, Ottawa, no date, pp. 144-45.
  5. ^ Ian MacPherson. Co-operation, Conflict and Consensus: BC Central and the Credit Union Movement to 1994. BC Central Credit Union, Vancouver, 1995, pp. 188.
  6. ^ Ian MacPherson. Co-operation, Conflict and Consensus: BC Central and the Credit Union Movement to 1994. BC Central Credit Union, Vancouver, 1995, pp. 202-203.
  7. ^ Ian MacPherson. Co-operation, Conflict and Consensus: BC Central and the Credit Union Movement to 1994. BC Central Credit Union, Vancouver, 1995, pp. 204.
  8. ^ Credit Union Central of Canada (2010). 2010 Annual Report. Toronto, Ontario: Credit Union Central of Canada. p. 4. 

External links[edit]