Ontario credit unions offer alternative to ABM "convenience fees"

    ST. CATHARINES, ON, March 5 /CNW/ - The meeting between Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty and representatives of Canada's big banks today highlighted one
of the many differences between the banks and credit unions, according to the
President and CEO of Ontario's largest credit union.
    "Our members do not pay Interac fees or surcharges - so called
"convenience fees" - for using an ABM at an Exchange Network location. There
are 180,000 locations across Canada and the United States. This no-fee access
is provided at no additional charge to all 220,000 Meridian members," said
Sean Jackson, President and CEO of Meridian Credit Union.
    ABM machine fees, charges imposed on clients who withdraw money from
other banking institutions, are under scrutiny by the federal government.
    "Our philosophy regarding ABM'S is that they should enhance service
available to our members through our branches, not replace it," said Jackson.
"Our membership is growing because of our commitment to personalized service
and decision-making at the branch level that publicly traded financial
institutions are either unwilling or unable to match."

    Meridian Credit Union, founded on cooperative principles and is owned by
its members, is Ontario's largest credit union and the third largest credit
union in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Scott Windsor, Meridian Credit Union, (416)
597-5124, (416) 707-5425 (mobile)

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