October 30, 2013
Why is OWCU joining forces with another credit union?
The economic and regulatory climate of today is most challenging for small credit unions and as a result OWCU was no longer sustainable as an independent organization. After careful consideration of its strategic options, your board of directors came to the conclusion that partnering with another credit union was is in the best interest of our members and staff, and presented the best opportunity for a bright future.
Who is Alterna Savings?
Founded in 1908 as Canada’s first cooperative financial institution outside of Quebec, Alterna Savings is a full-service, member-owned, community focused credit union. Through 23 branches they are able to meet members’ full financial needs. They also uniquely service members residing in Gatineau, Quebec through their subsidiary, Alterna Bank. Alterna’s head office is here inOttawa and 10 of its branches are in the National Capital Region. Many will remember Alterna under its former name of CS CO-OP.
Why is the OWCU partnering with Alterna?
Alterna’s proposal offered the most benefit to our members and staff. Joining forces with Alterna will provide access to a broader network of branches, lower service fees and a lower membership share requirement. They will continue to operate our branch at 271 Bank Street, and retain our staff in order to continue serving our members. In addition, as a like-minded credit union, they will work with us to continue to promote our shared principles of financial inclusion, and commitment to community through financial literacy and supportive banking programs.
When will this partnership with Alterna happen?
We will officially become part of Alterna as of October 31, 2013, however, integration needs to be carefully planned and executed flawlessly, which will require several months of work. In the short term and until we are ready to migrate the accounts onto the Alterna banking system, OWCU members will continue to do business using the same channels and services offered by OWCU today.
What benefits will this opportunity have to OWCU members?
OWCU will benefit from integrating into a larger, yet like-minded, organization, providing a broader range of product, services and access points and greater capability to support community programs.
What benefits will this opportunity provide to Alterna members?
Alterna will benefit from a new network of members, introduction to prospects with new community partners, as well as a new branch at271 Bank St.
Will the cooperative arrangement with Ukrainian Credit Union (UCU) continue when OWCU becomes part of Alterna?
Alterna and UCU have both expressed a desire to carry on with a cooperative arrangement. They will be discussing the details of this as part of the integration planning.