Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba's credit unions get bigger piece of banking pie

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Manitoba's credit unions are earning a bigger share of your wallets.

According to figures released Wednesday by the Credit Union Central of Manitoba, the province's 40 credit unions saw their assets grow by 11.3 per cent to $21.35 billion for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, far outstripping its membership growth.

There are 585,500 credit union memberships in Manitoba, up 3,239, or less than one per cent, from a year ago.

"(Regular) members are bringing more of their personal business to credit unions or small-business members bringing more of their business to us. That's driving the growth more than just additional members," said Garth Manness, CEO of the CUCM.

Essentially, credit union members may have started out with a chequing account at their local branch, but now they're adding their mortgage, their mutual funds or their loans -- or all of the above -- all under the same roof.

Credit unions are constantly on the lookout to lure customers away from the big banks and recent CUCM research indicates they're in a good position to steal market share.

It found 57 per cent of Manitoba members were "very satisfied" with their credit union while 40 per cent were "satisfied." Only 28 per cent of bank customers, on the other hand, were "very satisfied" while 62 per cent were "satisfied."

Some 59 per cent of credit union members were "very likely" to recommend their credit union to somebody else and 33 per cent were "likely" to make a recommendation.

Only 29 per cent of bank customers were "very likely" to recommend their bank while 48 per cent were "likely" to recommend it.

The number of credit unions in the province continues to decline every year through merger activity and 2013 will be no different. Community Credit Union branches in Grunthal, Sprague and Vita will merge with Access Credit Union in July at the same time as Dauphin Plains, Roblin and Ethelbert credit unions will merge into a still-to-be-named institution.

At the beginning of the year, Sanford Credit Union merged with Access Credit Union.

The annual figures were released in advance of the CUCM's annual general meeting in Brandon on Friday.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Share of our dollars steadily growing

MANITOBA'S credit unions by the numbers:

2012 2011 Change

Members 585,484 582,245 0.56%

Deposits $19.93 billion $17.93 billion 11.14%

Assets $21.35 billion $19.19 billion 11.28%

Credit unions 40 41 -1

Branches 191 186 +5

Communities where a credit union is the only financial institution

67 66 +1

-- source: Credit Union Central of Manitoba

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 21, 2013 A16

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