REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - During International Year of Co-operatives, Saskatchewan credit unions are proud to celebrate 75 years of serving the people and communities of Saskatchewan.
On August 2, 1937, the first Saskatchewan credit union, Regina Hebrew Savings and Credit Union, was incorporated. This was followed in the same year by the creation of Moose Jaw Credit Union, Star-Phoenix Savings and Credit Union, Sherwood Credit Union, Regina Wheat Pool Employees' Savings and Credit Union and Sacred Heart Parish Savings and Credit Union. Although the Regina Hebrew Savings and Credit Union eventually closed its doors, the others went on to amalgamate and still exist under different names.
"The spirit of 'neighbours helping neighbours to help themselves' has endured and grown beyond what these founders could have imagined," Keith Nixon, interim CEO explains. "Credit unions are now among the most reliable and stable financial institutions in the world."
Today, Saskatchewan credit unions, which at one time were jokingly called 'penny banks', are modern, world class financial institutions with assets of over $17 billion, serving half a million members. Their support of communities and families has helped raise Saskatchewan from the depths of the 30s depression to become a vibrant and growing province with an enviable economy.
"75 years after the founding of the first credit union, we can look back at the vision of the men and women who pooled their meager funds to give even the poorest among them a chance at a brighter future," says Nixon. "From them, we can learn that we don't have to wait for others to come to our aid or define our future for us."
There are 60 Saskatchewan credit unions who together serve approximately 500,000 members across the province. Saskatchewan credit unions build lives and fulfill dreams by helping members achieve financial well-being and by investing in their communities.
Credit unions celebrate International Credit Union Day on October 18, 2011 as part of national Co-op Week, October 14-20, 2012.
Saskatchewan Credit Union Quick Facts
(as of December 31, 2011 unless otherwise indicated)
- Today there are 60 credit unions in Saskatchewan serving 270 communities through 301 service outlets.
- Credit unions offer financial products and services to approximately 508,000 members.
- Saskatchewan credit union assets reached $15.6 billion with revenue of over $797 million.
- Credit union lending amounts to $11.4 billion.
- Over 500 board members are locally elected by members of each credit union to provide strategic direction to their management teams.
- As independent financial institutions owned and controlled by their members, credit unions are shaped by community needs. Saskatchewan credit unions range in asset size from $12 million to more than $3 billion.
- In 2011, Saskatchewan credit unions returned $17.8 million to their members in the form of patronage equity contribution and dividends.
- Credit unions are a major contributor to Saskatchewan's economy, employing more than 3,500 people.
- In 2011, Saskatchewan credit unions contributed $78,000 to international development projects to help co-operatives and credit unions in other countries.
- Over the past four years*:
- Saskatchewan credit unions have contributed $26.6 million to growing communities
- Our fundraising efforts have brought in nearly $2M for causes like the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, Red Cross Disaster Relief, Terry Fox Run and Telemiracle
- Our employees logged more than 285,000 hours of volunteer time for community organizations.
- Funds held on deposit in Saskatchewan credit unions are fully guaranteed through the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation. The full guarantee is made possible through a comprehensive deposit protection regime that is focused on prevention. Read more about the guarantee.
*figures include 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined