Meridian Welcomes Bill C-9 Regulations

Enabling Cross-Province Expansion to Strengthen Canadian Credit Union System and Co-operative Movement; Ontario Still Ripe with Growth Opportunity

TORONTO, July 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The regulations of Bill C-9 were published today, setting the course for the new federal legislation to take effect.  According to Meridian, Ontario's largest credit union, Bill C-9 will change the landscape of the Canadian credit union system and create new opportunities for credit unions and credit union Members in Ontario and across Canada.

Bill C-9 establishes a framework that enables provincial credit unions and caisses populaires to become federal credit unions. It will provide credit unions with the ability to expand and pursue business strategies, including establishing a physical presence, beyond provincial boundaries.

"At Meridian, we believe that allowing credit unions to expand their businesses outside of provincial borders is a very positive move for the Canadian credit union system, and the co-operative movement overall," said Sean Jackson, President and CEO, Meridian. "Meridian's proven track record of strong organic growth in Ontario combined with two successful mergers since 2005, has positioned us for success when Bill C-9 takes effect.  In addition this legislation provides Canadian credit unions with a unique opportunity to work together to strengthen credit union penetration in Ontario."

Under the Bank Act, federal credit unions will be deemed banks that conduct business on a co-operative basis. Credit unions will continue to offer Canadians a real alternative to the traditional, publicly-traded financial institutions.

"As part of the co-operative movement, credit unions have an advantage over the "Big Banks"; we share our principles and work together, not against each other," Jackson explained. "With our superior Member service, attractive rates and local approach to decision making, credit unions are truly a flexible and competitive alternative to the traditional banks."

Jackson added that there is still a wealth of opportunity in Ontario for credit union expansion. More than half of the population in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec have credit union accounts, while in Ontario, credit unions only have approximately 12 per cent of market share.

"There is plenty of room for Meridian and other credit unions to grow in Ontario," Jackson said. "When Bill C-9 takes effect, Meridian will be able to work closely with other credit unions from across Canada to build the credit union movement in Ontario."

About Meridian:
Meridian is Ontario's largest credit union, serving more than 263,000 Members at 61 Branches and eight Commercial Business Centres in communities across south central Ontario. With more than 70 years of banking history, Meridian delivers a full range of financial services, solutions, and advice tailored to meet each Member's individual needs, including access to The Exchange® Network with more than 2,400 no-fee ABMs in Canada. Membership in Meridian is open to anyone looking for a financial services provider with a local, community focus that offers a viable alternative to traditional banking options.

SOURCE Meridian Credit Union

For further information:

Diane Medeiros
Manager, Media and Stakeholder Relations, Meridian
(416) 597-4444, ext. 2667

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