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Values-based banking reflects Assiniboine Credit Union’s commitment to doing business in a way that is financially sound and socially, environmentally and ethically responsible. It speaks to the value the credit union sees in using its skills and resources as a financial co-operative to help foster self-reliant and sustainable communities. It explains why Assiniboine Credit Union takes care to consider the impact of business decisions on employees, members, the communities served, and the environment.
Winnipeg, 1943 – Assiniboine Credit Union’s roots are deep and stretch back nearly 75 years to an important time in Canada’s history. After suffering through a decade-long depression, the city’s economy was finally coming back to life. It was a time of tremendous worry and anxiety. For the first time in a decade people were starting to think about saving money.
When 15 Winnipeg Electric Company employees met one evening after work in 1943 to form a credit union, they were in touch with the spirit of their times. A credit union was meant to be a place where they could invest some of their money. More importantly, it was a place they could turn to in an emergency. They named the new credit union after the street on which the Street Railway Company had its offices – Assiniboine.
In those days, there was no safety net in the form of unemployment insurance, social assistance, or medical care. At the first credit union meeting, members invested $100 in the new co-operative. The first loan underlined the credit union’s social mission: a member borrowed $50 to pay an outstanding medical bill.
Over the years, Assiniboine Credit Union attracted more members and business grew through both sound financial performance and a series of amalgamations, but the credit union never lost sight of its commitment to members and their communities.
Assiniboine Credit Union may look much larger today than it did in the days when the secretary treasurer could carry all of the assets around in his pocket. Today, it has approximately 500 employees, 113,000 members, 21 branches and assets exceeding $4.1 billion. ‘We are certain those early members would approve of the path Assiniboine has taken; building on our fundamental co-operative values for a sustainable future.’
Banking On Values
To ensure that using finance for good is at the heart of all that is done, Assiniboine Credit Union has created a Values-based banking Policy to help stay true to its mission, vision and values as the organisation grows and changes. Assiniboine Credit Union’s values, and social, economic and environmental considerations will be incorporated into decision-making. The policy articulates the principles that guide it, and the commitments it makes as a credit union.
Assiniboine Credit Union is a community-based financial co-operative, owned by the members who use its products and services. The Board of Directors is elected from among the member-owners. Each member owns one share in Assiniboine Credit Union and has one vote in board elections and when voting on important matters put before the membership. Assiniboine Credit Union believes that the positive benefits resulting from its commitment to values-based banking will contribute to the economic and financial well-being of its members, provide meaningful and rewarding work for employees, and foster sustainable communities. Ultimately, it will be reflected in Assiniboine Credit Union’s financial strength and enable the organisation to fulfill its mission and move toward its vision.
- Kevin Sitka, President and Chief Executive Officer
- Vera Goussaert, Board Chair
Market Focus, Products and Services
Delivering service in Manitoba, Canada means Assiniboine Credit Union’s decision making remains local and the money members place on deposit is put to good use to build local, sustainable communities.
Members find all the products and services they would expect from any financial institution, but with great added value. In addition to Assiniboine Credit Union’s 100% unlimited guarantee on members’ deposits provided by the Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Manitoba, it offers an array of innovative products, services and programs that further Assiniboine Credit Union’s reputation as a unique financial co-operative.
As a Manitoba-based credit union, Assiniboine Credit Union focuses on delivering exceptional service to more than 113,000 members and their communities. It offers a full range of financial products and services to households, businesses, non-profits and co-operatives through a variety of channels including:
- 21 Branches: 19 in Winnipeg, 2 in northern Manitoba;
- Network of 37 ATMs;
- Internet Banking and Telephone Banking;
- Member Communication Centre;
- Business Financial Centre;
- Community Financial Centre;
- Assiniboine Financial Group (wealth management);
- Dealer Finance Division (on-the-lot vehicle financing);
- Mortgage Specialists;
- Outlook Financial (Assiniboine’s virtual division);
- Winnipeg Insurance Brokers Limited. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Assiniboine Credit Union).
Assiniboine Credit Union provides world-class financial services to all members in its communities. At the same time, it engages with members and communities to understand barriers to accessing financial services and works with them to create solutions. This includes:
- Opening branches in communities that the banks have abandoned, such as a branch in Winnipeg’s North End;
- Bringing unbanked individuals into the credit union as full members and providing empowering opportunities for them to build their assets;
- Creating a credit union in a high school to empower youth through financial literacy and business management opportunities;
- Establishing a Community Finance Centre specifically dedicated to finding financing solutions for nonprofits, social enterprises, co-operatives, and micro-enterprises that have high social impact;
- Promoting ethical investment options for members;
- Providing innovative loans for foreign professionals to get their credentials recognised in Canada;
- Creating a mortgage product with the Islamic community that facilitates home-ownership.
Assiniboine Credit Union also works to reduce its impact on the environment, recognising that this will create a more sustainable and healthy place for members to live.