Alterna Savings

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"Alterna" redirects here. For the Rize album, see Alterna (album).
Alterna Savings
Credit Union
Industry Financial services
Founded 1908 Ottawa, Ontario
Headquarters Ottawa
Key people
Rob Paterson
Products Savings; checking; consumer loans; mortgages; credit cards; online banking
Number of employees

Alterna Savings & Credit Union Ltd. is a Canadian credit union, formed in 2005 by the merger of CS CO-OP and Metro Credit Union, which provides full daily banking services, loans and mortgages, investment services and business banking. At the close of 2011 Alterna Savings had CN$2.3 billion in assets and approximately 103,000 members. It had 24 branches in Ottawa, Kingston, North Bay, Pembroke and Toronto. It also provides service across Canada through its subsidiary, Alterna Bank, which has two branches in Gatineau, Quebec.[1]

CS CO-OP[edit]

The Civil Service Savings and Loan Society, launched in 1908 with the assistance of Alphonse Desjardins, was the first credit union in Canada outside Quebec. Federal civil servants were prompted by an article in their magazine The Civilian, when it reported on loan sharks charging civil servants up to 200% for payday loans. After the Government of Ontario passed a credit union law in 1928, the Ottawa-based institution was re-chartered as the Civil Service Co-operative Credit Society (CS CO-OP). Although it has always been one of the largest credit unions in Ontario, it never joined Credit Union Central of Ontario.

Metro Credit Union[edit]

Metro CU was incorporated in August 1949 as the University of Toronto Employees' Credit Union. Over the years it absorbed a variety of smaller credit unions, primarily ones that served universities, colleges or hospitals. It became a community bond credit union, open to all residents of Toronto, in 1994.

Ottawa Women's Credit Union[edit]

The Ottawa Women’s Credit Union was a Canadian credit union formed in 1980 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, that provided financial products, services and training based on the philosophy of women helping women to become financially autonomous. The credit union was founded by Lynne Markell, Aline Akeson and Dorothy O’Connell after they recognized that the best way to help low income women in the Ottawa area was with a member-owned financial co-operative managed by and for women. On October 21, 2013 the members of the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union voted to merge with Alterna Savings. On October 31, 2013 the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union merged with Alterna Savings to form Alterna Savings’ Centretown Community branch.


CS CO-OP and Metro CU were active participants in the negotiations of 12 credit unions across the country for a national co-operative bank in 1998. Though these negotiations were unsuccessful, they opened a door for CS CO-OP, under the leadership of Gary Seveny, to secure a bank charter for its subsidiary CS Alterna Bank ('Alterna Bank'). The new bank was launched in October 2000 to offer service across Canada.

Gary H. Gillam, a leader of the credit union until his death in 1993, shaped Metro Credit Union's reputation as a pioneer in social responsibility. The credit union operates a microcredit fund for disadvantaged Toronto entrepreneurs, and was one of the first financial institutions in Canada to perform regular social audits.



  1. ^ "CS Alterna Bank - About Us". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 

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