Prospera Credit Union and North Shore Credit Union announce merger discussions

    VANCOUVER, April 17 /CNW/ - Abbotsford-based Prospera Credit Union and
North Vancouver-based North Shore Credit Union today announced that they are
in discussions to merge operations. If successful, this will result in British
Columbia's 3rd largest credit union, with over $4 billion in assets under
administration, 28 branches stretching from Whistler to Vernon,
100,000 members and 800 employees.
    The primary objective of the merger is to build on the strengths of both
organizations, to improve member service and experience, deliver expanded
product offerings, enhance career opportunities for employees, and drive
greater operational efficiencies and cost savings through economies of scale.
    The new organization will combine the vision, people, branches and
capability of two compatible and successful organizations. Its broader
geography will provide members increased access to branches. As well, its
larger deposit and capital base will support a wider range of services and
    Both financial institutions are community-based and dedicated to helping
their members achieve prosperity through a personalized blend of banking,
loans, investments and insurance.
    "We are very excited by the opportunities that a merger of these two
credit unions will bring," said Chris Catliff, president and CEO of North
Shore Credit Union, and chair of the merger task force. "We have very similar
business philosophies and plans for future growth. This is potentially a huge
win for both our members and employees, and an exciting new financial choice
for people across the province."
    Bruce Howell, interim president and CEO of Prospera, agrees, "Together we
will be able to grow much faster and accomplish much more than either of us
could have done on our own."
    The two institutions have signed a letter of intent stating that, upon
completion of due diligence, they will enter into a formal, definitive merger
agreement, to be decided by member vote. This is anticipated for September
    The merged company will be known as Prospera Credit Union, and Chris
Catliff will be president and CEO of the new organization. Due diligence will
begin immediately. Mr Catliff will serve as Chair of the Merger Task Force
that will be responsible for combining the strengths of the two organizations
for the benefit of members and employees. Mr. Catliff will devote the majority
of his time to managing the Task Force and providing management services to
Prospera. Bruce Howell will continue as interim president and CEO of Prospera
and Bill Keen, (currently Vice President Finance & Chief Financial Officer of
NSCU) will assume the role as interim president and CEO of NSCU.

    About Prospera
    Drawing on its more than 60-year history, Prospera is now one of the
largest credit unions nationally and the fourth largest in B.C. With current
assets of $2.3 billion under administration, Prospera's offices are located
from Vancouver to Kelowna, and include 16 branches, 9 insurance offices, six
commercial centres and a contact centre. Subsidiaries include Ubiquity Bank of
Canada, Kelowna Valley Insurance Services Ltd., and Vernon Insurance Inc.
Prospera is a community rooted organization dedicated to helping members
attain finanical freedom through a unique blend of high-touch service
excellence and hi-tech products. Prospera has an extensive community support
program dedicated to recognizing community based organizations, events and the
volunteers who make a difference in our neighbourhoods. For more than 20 years
Prospera has supported members achieve their educational goals through the
Jump Start Educational Award Program.

    About North Shore Credit Union
    With 12 branches in communities from Burnaby and downtown Vancouver to
Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton, North Shore Credit Union provides expert
advice on banking, loans, investments and insurance. North Shore Credit Union
has $2.0 billion in assets under administration, nearly 300 employees and
40,000 members. Its subsidiaries include United Mortgage Group, North Shore
Capital Corporation, North Shore Leasing Ltd., Pacific Spirit Properties Ltd.
and North Shore Insurance Services Ltd. NSCU is designated a Caring Company by
the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy and is a proud member of Canada's IMAGINE
program. The Credit Union has also been honoured numerous times as one of the
most technologically innovative financial institutions in North America.

For further information:

For further information: Anna Parisi, Optimum Public Relations for
Prospera, Tel: (604) 647-6229, Cell: (604) 828-2875,;
Tanya Curtis, Public Relations, Marketing Department, Prospera Credit Union
and Insurance, Tel: (604) 864-6542, Cell: (778) 808-2448,;
Kristin Abraham, Employee & Corporate Communications Manager, North Shore
Credit Union, (604) 983-4584

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