Results released on International Credit Union Day
TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Credit unions across Canada contributed more than $41.4 million to communities last year through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism - an increase of over 10 per cent from the previous year, according to a recent Credit Union Community Involvement Survey.
The 11th annual survey also shows that in 2011, Canadian credit unions: gave nearly $31.4 million through donations and sponsorships; donated $2.2 million to charitable foundations; provided $2.2 million in donations-in-kind; and awarded $1 million in scholarships and bursaries. In addition, largely by reducing or waiving service charges, Canadian credit unions contributed $4.6 million in financial services to community organizations.
"Social responsibility and community-based accountability has always been at the core of the credit union difference," explains David Phillips, president and CEO, Credit Union Central of Canada. "This is reflected in the way we conduct business, invest in our communities and support our credit union employees' desire to do more."
According to the survey, 70 per cent of credit union survey respondents said that their employees volunteered during their unpaid time off, and almost half of the credit unions surveyed also said their employees participated in community activities as part of their paid work. Volunteerism is so important that it has become an integral part of employee performance evaluations for 32 per cent of responding credit unions.
Some of the initiatives Canadian credit unions support includes economic development and housing, environmental causes and disaster relief, health/long-term care, educational programs and facilities, art and culture, and sports. Across Canada, the majority of contributions were made locally, but credit unions also supported international causes.
"Releasing the annual survey results today - on International Credit Union Day - enables us to promote and highlight the positive impact credit unions have on our country, and on the communities in which we live and operate, and for this, we are proud," added Phillips. "At the end of the day, our overall goal is to help build stronger communities through the spirit of co-operation."
About the study
The 2011 Credit Union Community Involvement Survey, conducted in 2012 for the 2011 fiscal year, gathered responses from 253 of the 368 credit unions affiliated with Credit Union Central of Canada in 2011. Fielding was conducted mid-January to mid-May for Wave 1 (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). Fielding for Wave 2 was conducted May to the end of August for BC, Ontario and the Atlantic region. Results of the survey are summarized in the 2012 Social Responsibility and Canada's Credit Unions Report.
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 359 credit unions with more than $145.7 billion in assets and serving over 5.2 million members, outside of Quebec. For more information about Canada's credit union system and Canadian Central visit www.cucentral.ca.
For the eighth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first in overall Customer Service Excellence, among all financial institutions, surpassing all Canadian banks in Ipsos 2012 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 and Telephone Banking Excellence.
SOURCE: Credit Union Central of Canada
For further information:
Director, Trade Association Services
Tel: (416) 232-3417
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