What is a credit union?

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Community hub, safe space, judgement-free zone, place where dreams can come true… You can call a credit union whatever you want, but at the core, credit unions are financial institutions. We just happen to be a few of those other things, too.

Like banks, credit unions provide financial services. We offer savings and chequing accounts, mortgages, retirement savings, financial advice, and every other financial service you can imagine. You can do deposits and withdrawals with us. We offer surcharge free ATMs and online services. Our staff offer financial advice for every life milestone you may encounter. But we’re not a bank. We’re a credit union.

Provincially regulated, credit unions have operated in Canada for over 100 years and have evolved to provide the same services as chartered banks. In fact, credit unions have the same—if not higher—deposit protection as banks.

Credit unions are co-ops, which means when you open an account with us you’re not just a customer—you’re an owner. Every person who opens an account with us becomes an owner in the business. That means when we profit, you profit. That means you have a say in how we operate. That means your money stays local. That means we are accountable to you. And it’s why we say we don’t have customers, we have members.

And because we prioritize people over profit, Canadians have ranked credit unions #1 in customer service for personal banking for over 15 years in a row.

Credit unions operate in thousands of communities across Canada—often in places without a presence of one of Canada’s larger banks. Considering local businesses are the heart of our communities, supporting and believing in these local businesses—regardless of their size—is a big part of who we are. And it’s not just us who thinks so. Atlantic Business Magazine’s readers named credit unions the Best Financial Institution in Atlantic Canada for small businesses.

Credit unions are not banks. But we are financial institutions. We are part of our community. We offer the benefits of membership. And we offer so much more than what can be captured in a few short paragraphs.

Curious to learn more about the credit union difference and benefits? Get in touch with your local branch today.