National campaign invites Canadians to tell Ottawa "My Credit Union Matters!"

Budget measure could put $700 million into local economies

TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Credit unions matter to the national economy and to local job creation. The federal government needs to do more to work with this critical part of the financial sector. This is the message Canada's credit unions are inviting Canadians to share with federal policy makers through a new national campaign launched today.

Credit unions are the only financial institution in over 380 communities, responsible for billions in economic activity, and are among the leading lenders to small business.  Credit unions are financial co-operatives, which means they don't issue shares on capital markets like banks do, so that on average, nearly 80 per cent of credit union capital is retained earnings, compared with less than 45 per cent for banks.

"It used to be said that credit unions were the country's best kept secret, but we're not much of a secret anymore," Martha Durdin, President and CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada, said.  "This campaign is a demonstration of that. Policymakers are going hear from Canadians that credit unions matter, that they are different, and that those differences warrant different – not preferential – treatment from Ottawa."

In particular, the "My Credit Union Matters" campaign will support a proposed Capital Growth Tax Credit for credit unions. The recommendation, included in Credit Union Central of Canada pre-budget submission to members of Parliament would generate an estimated $700 million in much-needed lending to small businesses, farmers and families, far in excess of its $66 million price tag.  The tax measure would function in much the same way that the capital gains tax deduction helps banks.

"Credit unions are a crucial part of Canada's economy," Durdin added.  "Every year, they put billions into local communities through loans, investments, and community projects. By working with credit unions, and respecting that they are a different kind of financial institution structurally, the federal government can contribute to economic growth and job creation, and more competition in the financial sector leading to thriving local economies."

The campaign website at www.myCUmatters.ca and www.macaissejytiens.ca launched today to Canada's 320 credit unions, allows Canadians to send a message directly to the Minister of Finance and their local member of Parliament to let them know that My Credit Union Matters.

About Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central)
Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association for the Canadian Credit Union system.  Canada's credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry.  Canadian Central represents five provincial/regional Centrals and one Federation representing 320 credit unions with more than $162 billion in assets and serving over 5.3 million members, outside of Quebec.  For more information about Canada's credit union system visit www.cucentral.ca.

For the ninth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first overall in Customer Service Excellence, among all financial institutions, surpassing all Canadian banks in Ipsos 2013 Best Banking Awards. Credit Unions also took sole honours in: Branch Service Excellence; and Values My Business.  Credit unions tied for first among all financial institutions for Financial Planning & Advice; Mobile Banking Excellence; Automated Telephone Banking Excellence; and Live Agent Telephone Banking Excellence.

SOURCE: Credit Union Central of Canada

For further information: Veronica Feldcamp, Director, Trade Association Services, (416) 232-3417, (416) 434-8777, feldcampv@cucentral.com

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cucentral.ca

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