National Awards recipients' programs change the way credit unions work with their members

CHARLOTTETOWN, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central) announced the winners of its annual National Credit Union Awards Program at a gala event during its 2014 Canadian Conference for Credit Union Leaders in Charlottetown, PE on May 7, 2014.

Daniel Burns, Board Chair of Canadian Central presented awards to individuals and credit unions in three categories: innovation, social responsibility and leadership by young credit union professionals.

"The level of community involvement, ingenuity and leadership that comes out of the credit union system is awe-inspiring and a testament to the dedication and efforts of credit union staff across the country," explained Daniel Burns, Board Chair. "I'm excited about the future direction of the credit union system. Our national young leaders have the skills and ambition to meet the needs of the next generation of members and I look forward to learning more about what opportunities lie ahead as they, and all of our credit union system staff, embrace change and challenges head-on."

Award Recipients

This year's National Credit Union Innovation Award, which is presented to credit unions that lead the way with innovations that strengthen credit unions and that may have application for the overall system, was presented to Westminster Savings Credit Union (Westminster Savings), on behalf of the Large Credit Union Conference CIO Group. 

Their ground-breaking Deposit Anywhere™ ( mobile app, which provides members a secure and convenient way to deposit cheques using a mobile device, a first in mobile banking for Canadians, was shared with and enthusiastically embraced by Westminster Savings' 55,000 members. By year-end, it had been used close to eight thousand times, and over 13 million dollars in cheques had been deposited to consumer and business accounts. In the true spirit of co-operation, all teams working on the project, including marketing and communications, worked closely to ensure a successful launch. Creating awareness and reaching the technically-adept consumer was key to building acceptance of the app. In the end, the value of media coverage was estimated to be in excess of $15 million dollars. The app has since been re-focused to ensure credit unions across Canada can launch the program as well. Learn more here.

For their continuing commitment to financial literacy and their ongoing quest for innovative solutions, First Calgary Financial (First Calgary) has been presented the 2014 National Credit Union Social Responsibility Award. First Calgary operates on the belief that financial literacy is a fundamental part of social change, and their strategy is built on a social promise that simply states that access to financial services is foundational to human dignity. Promoting this transformative ideal within the credit union required a new approach. Their solution? Partnering with Momentum, a local community economic development organization, along with the assistance of other financial institutions, First Calgary collectively identified the key barriers people face when attempting to access mainstream financial services.  They then created the "Mutual Fun – Investing in the under-banked" program, which was introduced to staff through workshops during Financial Literacy Month. Participating staff stated the program helped to alter the way they think about serving low-income members. The program has since been incorporated into all orientation programs for new First Calgary staff and shared with other financial institutions, policy makers and researchers.  Learn more here.

This year, five credit union professionals were recognized as National Young Leaders to mark their exceptional efforts:

Adam Fraser also received the National Young Leaders Award, which provides a $10,000 scholarship to cover tuition and travel costs to attend a leadership development program at a university in Canada. 

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 326 credit unions with more than $160.9 billion in assets and serving over 5.3 million members, outside of Quebec. For more information about Canada's credit union system and Canadian Central visit

For the ninth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first in overall 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,


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