Credit Unions Maintain Top Customer Service Ranking for Sixth Year

Independent survey demonstrates consistent strength of credit unions in many service categories

TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Despite a year of challenging economic conditions, an independent survey of thousands of Canadians has shown that credit unions rank first in overall quality of customer service among all financial institutions for the sixth year in a row.

"It is gratifying that Canadians continue to feel valued and well served by their local credit unions," said David Phillips, president and CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central).

"Canadian credit unions have more than five million members because of the keen focus on customer service at the community level," Phillips said. "Meeting the needs of our members continues to be our priority in any economic environment."

Global market research firm Synovate announced its 2010 Best Banking Awards, which are derived from its Customer Service Index. It found that credit unions received top honors among all financial institutions in five of the same award categories as they did in 2009. In three categories, credit unions stood alone:

    
    -   Overall Customer Service Excellence
    -   Values My Business
    -   Branch Service Excellence
    

Credit unions also tied for first in the following categories:

    
    -   Financial Planning & Advice
    -   Telephone Banking Excellence
    

Adrian Murphy, Vice President of Syndicated Research for Synovate in Canada, commented: "Overall, there were fewer winners listed this year and this may be due to the financial crisis that affected the industry at the start of the CSI program year. Synovate's Best Banking Awards help financial institutions better understand how effective they have been at meeting customers' needs, especially in challenging times."

Launched in 1987, the Synovate Customer Service Index (CSI) quarterly survey generates the winners of the annual Best Banking Awards. This year's Awards were based on the combined results of quarterly CSI surveys ending August 2010 and conducted among a regionally and demographically representative sample of Canadians. Almost 39,000 household responses were received for the 2010 CSI program year, providing the financial sector with extremely robust feedback from their customers and allowing for highly detailed analysis of the survey results nationally and by region.

About Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central)

Canadian Central is the national trade association for the credit union system. The 410 credit unions affiliated with Canadian Central have assets of $121 billion and more than five million members. Credit unions are provincially regulated financial institutions owned by their member/customers that provide a full range of financial services.

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates insights to help clients drive competitive brand, product and customer experience strategies. A truly borderless company with offices in over 60 countries, our 'biggest small company' approach combines best in class global research capabilities with personalised service, local knowledge and the flexibility to create teams and processes that meet clients' specific requirements. At Synovate, our clients sit at the top of our organisational chart, driving us to continually develop more innovative research solutions that predict actual business outcomes.

For more information on Synovate, visit www.synovate.com.

SOURCE Credit Union Central of Canada

For further information: For further information: Veronica Feldcamp, Director, Trade Association Services, (416) 232-3417, Feldcampv@cucentral.com

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Credit Union Central of Canada

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