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Community

How Credit Unions are Making a Difference in Manitoba

November 2, 2022
min read

Did you know that Credit Unions are owned and controlled by the members they serve and regularly give back to the community through donations and volunteerism? Learn more about how credit unions impact your community in this article.

Credit Unions and banks are not the same. Credit unions prioritize people, community support, and excellent service. In more than 80 communities in Manitoba, credit unions are the only financial institution, yet many people do not know the difference between credit unions and banks.

Credit Unions are financial cooperatives; as cooperatives, they are owned and controlled by the people they serve. The members purchase shares that give them a vote in how the credit union is governed, and members share in the profits earned.

"Cambrian is organized as a cooperative credit union where our members are also our customers – there is no inherent conflict of interest between shareholders and customers as can exist with traditional financial institutions. You, as a member, own Cambrian Credit Union, and we work for your best interests." – Jeffrey Morton, Cambrian Board Director.

People Over Profit

To be clear, this does not mean credit unions are not profitable; it means that their goals have a different focus. Profits go back to the membership directly and are allocated to benefit the overall membership.

For example, we have the Unfee and Green for Green programs at Cambrian. These programs put money back in the hands of members. In 2021, Cambrian returned over $6 million to its members through the Unfee program and saved the use of over 1.5 million pieces of paper and envelopes combined through the Green for Green program.

Other benefits to members come in the form of preferential rates on loans and deposits, improved access or services from the institution, and service fee reductions. According to the 2022 IPSOS Best Banking Awards, credit unions ranked first overall in Customer Service Excellence and Branch Service Excellence for the 18th yerar in a row.

"This recognition is truly a reflection of the member-focused service credit unions provide," says Martha Durdin, President and CEO of the Canadian Credit Union Association, at the 2021 IPSOS Financial Services Excellence Award.

Credit Unions in the Community

As a financial cooperative, we are proud to be part of a network of credit unions supporting our communities. Every year, Manitoba credit unions donate time, money, and resources to different causes that help make our communities a great place to live and work.

Collectively, credit unions have contributed over $26 million through donations, scholarships, and sponsorships. Just in 2021, Cambrian contributed over $280,000 in donations and provided $116,194 in sponsorships to various community initiatives.

In addition to monetary contributions, at least 70 percent of credit union employees participate in community activities as volunteers. There are multiple opportunities to live out our values as volunteers at Cambrian. Just this year, Cambrian employees participated in a group blood donation at the Canadian Blood Services through the Partners for Life Program. They also volunteered with Harvest Manitoba and Wolseley Gardens to serve the community.

Cambrian is pleased to belong to a network of credit unions working together to bolster local economies and positively impact social and community needs.

Here is a picture of Craig Giesbrecht, our Regional Sales Manager, presenting awards at Curl Manitoba's Manitoba Credit Unions Master Men's & Women's Provincial Championships on behalf of fourteen credit unions who have stepped up to sponsor them.

You can stay current on all the awesome things Credit Unions are doing in the community by checking out some of these resources:

Manitoba's Credit Unions

Canadian Credit Union Association

To see what the Cambrian crew is up to, follow us on social media and check out the hashtag #CambrianCommunities

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