New program to help credit unions build on position as best option for small businesses

BURLINGTON, ON, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - A new pilot project could soon help credit unions widen their lead over banks when it comes to serving small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada. The OnePlace For BusinessTM program was designed to help small business owners save time and effort while getting helpful advice about essential insurance products and financial services. Synergy Credit Union, providing 11 branches in northwest Saskatchewan, recently partnered with The CUMIS Group Limited (CUMIS) to launch the first pilot of the program, which will help entrepreneurs protect themselves, their business, employees and loved ones with comprehensive, affordable solutions.

"As one of Synergy Credit Union's key initiatives of 2013 is to increase awareness of the products, services and benefits offered through the Wealth Management team, we were excited earlier this year when CUMIS - a valued and trusted partner - presented us with an opportunity to pilot the OnePlace For Business program," said Brent Bergen, Chief Operating Officer of Synergy Credit Union. "We want to provide our members with an exceptional experience and to ensure our members are well-informed of the advisory services and solutions offered through our Wealth Management team in conjunction with our Business Banking Centre and Small Business Relationship Managers. Through this new program, we are excited for the opportunity to enrich our members' experiences - today and into the future."

Building upon the initial pilot at Synergy Credit Union, CUMIS will launch the OnePlace For Business program at additional credit unions in the months ahead. The program will help credit unions further cement their reputation as the best banking option and advisor for small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada. A research report issued by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in May 2013 showed that credit unions significantly outperformed the big banks when it comes to serving the financial needs of small- and medium-sized businesses.

"Business owners are busy people, and they need to have a solid plan in place that will make them resilient during different phases of the company's growth and development," said Bob Hague, President, Credit Union Distribution at CUMIS. "The OnePlace For Business program is a convenient, comprehensive program that helps them better understand how to protect what they've worked so hard to achieve."

The OnePlace For Business program starts with building a profile and understanding of the small business, followed by a review of product offerings and solutions that could help the enterprise and its owner achieve their goals. Working in conjunction with credit unions and their Wealth Management teams, CUMIS offers a full suite of insurance products to protect the business, including creditor insurance and key person insurance, which provides the financial means to allow the business to carry on in the event of an owner's or important employee's death. It offers employee-focused products including Group Benefits, and Group RRSPs and Pension Plans - employee benefits that are important to attract and retain top employees. And for the business owner, individual life insurance solutions can support the business in the areas of succession, tax management and estate planning.

About The CUMIS Group Limited

The CUMIS Group Limited is a trusted partner to credit unions and their members for protection - personal, financial and business. CUMIS' principal companies are CUMIS Life Insurance Company and CUMIS General Insurance Company, and it has a 50 per cent interest in Credential Financial Inc. CUMIS is jointly owned by Co-operators Life Insurance Company and Central 1 Credit Union.

About Synergy Credit Union

Synergy Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution serving more than 27,000 members from 10 communities within north-western Saskatchewan. Synergy Credit Union is the fourth largest credit union in the province of Saskatchewan and is one of the leading credit unions in Canada, with more than $1 billion in assets. Synergy Credit Union provides core banking services through the traditional branch network, the Canada-wide AccuLink ATM network, online banking, automated telephone banking, mobile web banking, as well as through the Member Contact Centre and by SMS texting. More complex and advanced services, such as financial advice and analysis, are delivered by specialists who may be located in select branches or available to meet in a location of the member's choice, by request.

TM OnePlace For Business is a trademark of The Co-operators Group Limited and is used under license.

SOURCE: The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
519-767-3937


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