Canadas national credit union association has no objection to by csgirla

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									Competition with merged banks welcome if federal government provides
credit unions with legislative support

Canada’s national credit union association has no objection to bank mergers, as long as the
competitive balance of the financial services industry is maintained.

         OTTAWA, Dec. 4, 2002 /CNW/ - In its submission to the Standing Senate Committee on
Banking, Trade and Commerce, Credit Union Central of Canada took a pro-merger position,
saying that it views mergers in the financial services sector as a viable business strategy, with
potentially healthy outcomes for the Canadian financial system.
         At the same time, the national credit union association encouraged the federal
government to sustain competitive balance by strengthening the ability of co-operative financial
institutions to compete against large banks.
         Joanne De Laurentiis, President & CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada, and Jonathan
Guss, President & CEO of Credit Union Central of Ontario, urged the government to “proceed as
quickly as possible” to enact regulations drafted for the Cooperative Credit Associations Act,
which would enhance the credit union system’s ability to compete. These regulations were
contemplated in Bill C-8, the federal legislation for the financial services sector that was passed
in 2001.
          In addition, Mr. Guss asked that “all legislative and regulatory impediments in federal
legislation” be removed to allow the co-operative financial sector to proceed with cross-
provincial initiatives, such as the proposed merger of the financial arms of Credit Union Central
of British Columbia and Credit Union Central of Ontario. The proposed merger has received
overwhelming support from credit unions in Ontario and B.C., he said. Ms. De Laurentiis
commented that such initiatives will increase the capacity of the credit union system to compete
against large banks and that “the need for cost efficiencies and scale in the credit union system is
a current, not a future need.”
         Regarding proposals for a co-operative bank system in Canada, Ms. De Laurentiis
supported further consultations that would “directly involve representatives of the co-operative
financial system.”
       With $64 billion in assets, 646 credit unions and 4.6 million members, Canada’s credit
union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. Credit Union Central of
Canada (“Canadian Central”) functions as the system’s national trade association and central
finance facility. The credit union system is a three-tier structure of local, provincial and national
organizations. Local credit unions operate autonomously and are the primary shareholder
members of provincial Centrals, which are in turn the primary shareholder members of Canadian
Central. For more information about Canada’s credit unions, check out www.cucentral.ca.

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For further information please contact:

Veronica Feldcamp, Director, Trade Association Services
Credit Union Central of Canada, Tel: (416) 232-3417, feldcampv@cucentral.com.

Steve Mosey, Communications Officer
Credit Union Central of Canada, Tel: (416) 232-3433, moseys@cucentral.com.

								
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