Dear Valued Members:
On behalf of the board of Pierceland Credit Union, I’m excited to announce that we are recommending an amalgamation with Innovation Credit Union to our members.
We want to meet the challenges of providing our members with everything they need and want from a financial services provider. In 2014, we started exploring our options. After careful consideration and research, our board and management found Innovation’s approach to responsible banking and commitment to adding exceptional value to their members’ banking experience an appealing fit for our organization.
We have also been following Innovation Credit Union’s proposal to become a federal credit union and feel that we would like to be a part of that exciting journey.
Member voting on the amalgamation proposal will take place at our Annual General Meeting on March 27th. In order to proceed with the board’s recommendation, Pierceland Credit Union members need to vote in favor of the resolution to amalgamate with Innovation Credit Union.
Please bring one piece of government issued photo ID to be eligible to vote.
The amalgamation date we are targeting is January 1, 2019.
We’ll post more amalgamation details on our website and through other information vehicles in the near future. In the meantime, should you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our General Manager Craig Barclay at 306-839-2071.
1) Member value
Innovation’s approach to responsible banking means they are committed to adding value to their members’ financial lives. A prime example of this is Innovation’s Member Rewards program. The program is based on three pillars: Save, Earn, and Give. Innovation members save with products like their No-Fee Account which includes free Interac e-Transfers and remote deposit capture, where members can deposit cheques through their smartphone. Their members can earn money simply by doing their everyday banking with Innovation. The more business members do, the more they earn. This business also translates into community support. Innovation members have helped to give back over $5.2 million to the communities they serve over the past 11 years.
Expanded product and service line
Innovation not only offers a No-Fee Account, its product and service line is a leader in the province:
- Mobile-friendly website with Live Chat
- Mobile app
- Online banking for both personal and business use that includes personal financial management tools
- Remote deposit capture
- Mobile Pay for Android
- A Saskatchewan-based call centre with extended hours of service
- Full-service wealth management professionals
They also offer larger lending limits and attractive lending and investment rates.
Expanded branch network
Innovation has 22 advice centre/branch locations, which means more locations for Pierceland members to conveniently access. They also have a Mobile Advice Centre—a branch on wheels!—that can travel to more remote locations to assist with members not close to an Innovation location.
2) Employee value
Innovation Credit Union offers a number of career and education opportunities. They invest in their employees and employ technology to leverage staff at every location including smaller rural locations.
3) Community value
The Give portion of Innovation’s Member Rewards program enables them to give 2 to 4% of pre-tax profits back to the communities they serve. The Pierceland community would have access to business development project funds, sponsorship dollars, charitable donations, and a scholarship program that awards scholarships to high school students in Innovation’s trading area.
Additionally, Innovation would create a legacy fund made up of 10% of Pierceland Credit Union’s yearend retained earnings which would be administered by a committee established by the current board of directors and distributed through an application process. As an example of the potential funds available, 10% of last year’s retained earnings would be $400,000.
4) Governance value
If the credit unions amalgamate, a current Pierceland board member will have a seat on Innovation’s board for a minimum of 3 years. This will ensure Pierceland has a strong voice for our community.
You will still see the same friendly, familiar faces you’ve come to know and trust. This includes the Pierceland leadership team. There would be no loss of employment, employee relocation, or reduction in income. Pierceland employee benefits would be equal to their current program or improved with the amalgamation.
Credit union values and principles
Both Innovation and Pierceland have credit union co-operative values strongly rooted in Saskatchewan. It’s who we are and who we’ll continue to be.
Innovation’s federalization plan is to keep jobs and branches/advice centres in their local communities, using local employees and technology to serve members across Canada. This is a great way to keep jobs right here in Saskatchewan, in their advice centre communities. As such, their business plan to 2029 as a federal credit union includes no advice centre closures.
Innovation Credit Union members have voted in favor of Innovation becoming the first federal credit union headquartered in Saskatchewan.
As a federal credit union, Innovation will have the flexibility to address business challenges on the horizon, including a static, aging membership and growing competition from banks and technology companies who already provide financial services across the country. Becoming federal will allow them to actively promote their brand to non-members outside Saskatchewan.
Their initial plans are solely focused on digital growth and expansion, versus the opening of any new physical branches. Digital expansion means servicing members across Canada with their current employees through online, telephone, and mobile banking. Becoming a federal credit union is great for Innovation’s local communities. Through technology, their existing staff will serve members across Canada which means jobs right here!
Click here to view an information booklet.
As a federal credit union, Innovation would be regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the unlimited deposit guarantee provided by CUDGC would transition to the level of deposit insurance coverage provided by CDIC. Eligible deposits to a federal credit union receive $100,000 of coverage in each of the following categories through CDIC:
- deposits held in one name
- savings accounts
- operating accounts
- term deposits with maturities of 5 years or less
- deposits in a trust account
- deposits in RRSPs
- deposits in RRIFs
- deposits in tax-free savings accounts
- deposits in joint accounts
- deposits in pay realty taxes on mortgaged properties
However, members’ deposits will continue with an unlimited guarantee beyond the date they become a federal credit union. For terms, the unlimited guarantee will extend until the term expires – even if beyond the continuance date. For demand products, the unlimited guarantee will remain in place for 180 days beyond the continuance date.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: for over 80% of Innovation’s personal members, $100,000 in each of these categories is more than adequate coverage. If we amalgamate with Innovation, we will proactively work with our members to ensure that they are receiving the most coverage available once we fully transition to CDIC.
For further information on potential upcoming changes to deposit insurance if Innovation becomes a federal credit union, please see our disclosure notice .
We held our special member meeting to learn more about this opportunity January 15, 2018. Thank you to those who could attend!
Member voting on this amalgamation proposal will take place at our Annual Meeting on March 27, 2018. We’ll share meeting details and location soon!
1. Why is the credit union changing the way it does business?
The board recognizes it is becoming more difficult to meet our members’ needs and realizes we need to explore other options. After reviewing various presentations, the board and management found Innovation’s approach to responsible banking and adding exceptional value to members’ financial lives very appealing. Please see the Value of an amalgamation section above for more details.
2. If Pierceland amalgamates with Innovation and becomes part of a larger provincial or national body, will there still be service in our area?
Innovation Credit Union is committed to keeping their current advice centres open which would include our Pierceland branch. Innovation is currently exploring the opportunity to become a federal credit union based in Saskatchewan. This will allow us to look for members and deposits outside of our current trading area. Innovation’s federal strategy is contingent on their current staff members serving new virtual members from their current advice centres.
3. What Pierceland staff changes can we expect?
Our employees are our most valuable resource and that won’t change. Innovation Credit Union is committed to having a presence in the Pierceland area if the members vote in favor of the amalgamation. There will be a lot of work that will need to be done regarding structure, positions, and systems. It is our hope that this process will offer increased career opportunities, security and employment satisfaction for all our staff. All staff will be guaranteed similar employment to Pierceland with Innovation.
4. Is Pierceland Credit Union in financial trouble?
Pierceland Credit Union is currently in a strong financial position which includes an appropriate capital and liquidity position. This direction is being pursued from a long-term perspective. Our board has recognized for some time that it is becoming more difficult to meet our members’ needs due to several influences. We believe our ability to meet member needs for the long-term would be more effective by joining Innovation Credit Union.
5. Why is the board making this recommendation now?
Over the last few years, our board has reviewed and participated in various service models. More recently we decided that an amalgamation was the best option for the future of the members of Pierceland Credit Union. We have spent the last few months talking with several potential amalgamation partners and putting together a recommendation. The board believes our members and staff deserve the best and a partnership with Innovation Credit Union will provide significant benefits to our members. See the above Value of an amalgamation section for details.
6. Do members have a say in what happens?
Most definitely. We held a member information meeting in January to discuss the amalgamation in more detail as well as what it means to be a federally regulated credit union. We’re also open to any questions you have. We want to present you with everything you need to make an informed decision. You can submit a question directly by clicking on the Contact Us link above or ask one of the Pierceland staff members and we’ll ensure your question is answered.
7. Do members of both Pierceland Credit Union and Innovation get to vote on the amalgamation?
According to the Credit Union Act, because Pierceland’s asset size is less than 10% of Innovation’s asset base, the board of Innovation can approve the amalgamation by motion at a board meeting. The only membership that is required to vote is Pierceland’s. In order for the amalgamation to proceed, 75% of those voting from the Pierceland Credit Union membership will have to vote in favor of the amalgamation, which includes becoming a federal credit union.
8. When would the amalgamation take place?
The proposed merger date is January 1, 2019. The process to become a federal credit union would happen in approximately 2020.
9. Will we still have access to all the same products and services at Pierceland as we do now? Will we have to go to another branch for loan services?
You will be able to access all the same products and services and more. This includes Innovation’s No-Fee Account. The same staff will be here to work with you to meet your financial needs. There will also be additional expertise available to assist the local staff with specialty or larger loans, as well as in the Wealth Management area.
10. Will we have access to all Innovation products and rates on the amalgamation date?
Pierceland members will be able to take advantage of term, loan and prime rates immediately after the amalgamation date. Pierceland members will have access to the entire product line of Innovation as soon as the banking system can merge. Our goal is to have the banking system merged as close to the amalgamation date as possible.
11. Will we lose our personal touch by joining a bigger credit union?
Not at all. Our members are the reason we exist. Credit unions have a history of excellence in customer service and an amalgamation won’t change that. We value our members and our relationship with them. The same friendly and professional staff with be here to serve you. Both Pierceland and Innovation Credit Unions take a leadership role in supporting their communities. If anything, we expect that commitment to the communities we serve will be enhanced by joining with Innovation.
12. Will I be forced to change my account number?
At this point, it’s too early to predict any changes to account numbers, although it is a possibility. We’ll communicate any changes of this nature well in advance and do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition.
13. Will our branch hours of service change?
Pierceland and Innovation currently have similar hours of operation in Innovation’s rural locations. As part of our process we will ensure that we align with similar Innovation branches but any changes would be minimal. Innovation also provides expanded hours of service to members through the availability of its call centre.
14. Will we have board representation?
If the credit unions amalgamate, a current Pierceland board member will have a seat on Innovation’s board for a minimum of 3 years. Innovation is also open to establishing a formal advisory panel consisting of current Pierceland board members or other members of the community. This panel would meet at least semiannually to provide input to the new credit union. It could also be responsible for the community development fund mentioned in the Value of an amalgamation section.
15. Will there continue to be a general manager based out of Pierceland?
We would like to keep the current general manager on in a leadership capacity, however, branches at Innovation do not have general managers, rather Regional Vice Presidents that oversee a group of branches.
16. Can you explain the Member Rewards program in more detail?
Innovation Credit Union Member Rewards program ensures members benefit from a variety of rewards including:
- quarterly allocations based on how much business members do with them
- cash dividends based on members’ Member Rewards Account balance, calculated at an attractive rate of return
- a $5/quarter youth cash dividends paid to members 18 years of age and under
- free products and services that help members save money every day
- community investment in local causes members care about.
Member Rewards account balances can be viewed in online banking and on Innovation’s mobile app in the account summary area. This balance includes both allocations and cash dividends.
Innovation has also recently added a unique feature to their mobile app and online banking platform that captures Member Rewards in real time. Members can easily ascertain the value of being a member of Innovation, including details on allocations, dividends, savings, and community investment.
Members can easily access their cash dividends and other available allocations in their Member Rewards account by simply transferring the funds available through online banking, Innovation’s mobile app, or by contacting Innovation directly. A member can access their full Member Rewards allocations when their balance reaches $5,000 (personal members) or $10,000 (business members). Once personal members reach age 65, only $5 is required to be retained by the credit union.
Members can choose to leave their cash dividends in the account to grow their Member Rewards account balance, earning even larger dividends since Innovation pays members the cash dividend based on the entire Member Rewards balance. Innovation offers a very attractive dividend rate, which is anticipated to be set at an annualized rate of 5.0% for the next scheduled dividend distribution in February based on 2017 Q4 results.
17. How many approximate community dollars would be in the annual budget for Pierceland as a ‘core’ branch? Is the allocation based on asset size?
Community dollar allocations are based on two components. The first is the asset size of the branch or advice centre, “automatically” allocated, that the local team decides how the money is utilized. The second component is used for larger requests and community development. These funds are allocated by the marketing and ELT teams based on requests and needs (see the community section under the Value of an amalgamation section ). It may vary by location on a year to year basis.
18. What is the normal process for a donation or sponsorship request from within our community?
Innovation has a detailed process outlined on their website that describes how community members can apply for donations or scholarships. Regional Managers and local branch staff have the ability to influence and decide on local contributions. Executive, and sometimes the Innovation board, make decisions on significant, corporate level sponsorships (for example, naming rights or large scale donations).
19. Do community non-profit organizations get any type of smaller but tangible benefits? (Free photocopying, free bottled water, paper cups and napkins, etc.?)
Absolutely. Innovation provides a number of these types of items to local organizations, including copying, design services and door prizes.
20. With Innovation becoming a federally-regulated credit union does that mean our deposit insurance will change?
As a federal credit union, Innovation would be regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the unlimited deposit guarantee provided by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) would transition to the level of deposit insurance coverage provided by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
21. What impact will this change in deposit insurance have on me as a member?
Rather than an unlimited guarantee through CUDGC, members are eligible for $100,000 of coverage in a variety of categories through CDIC. The majority of our members will see no impact to the change in deposit insurance. CDIC insurance is sufficient to cover the deposits of the majority of our consumer members. There is additional coverage available for members with more than $100,000 on deposit if they hold joint accounts, trust accounts, and registered accounts. CDIC provides coverage up to $100,000 in each eligible category of deposits. We’ll work with our members to maximize their coverage.