February 17, 2016
Ontario credit unions welcome progressive changes that will help them flourish
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Ontario credit unions will be able to better serve their members and their communities thanks to regulatory changes announced February 12th by Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
"The advances announced by the Finance Minister will help Ontario credit unions attract more deposits, which we will turn into loans and mortgages to support small businesses and homeowners in our communities," said Rick Hoevenaars, chair of Central 1 Credit Union, the trade association representing 77 credit unions with 1.4 million members across the province.
Credit unions had asked for an increase in deposit insurance, which they finance through annual premiums. The province has agreed to raise the level to $250,000 per account, from $100,000.
"The deposit insurance change brings Ontario into line with other provinces and reassures our members that their deposits are safe and secure," said Hoevenaars, who is Chief Financial Officer at Libro Credit Union with headquarters in London.
Credit unions are also pleased that the province will make it easier for municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals to hold their deposits in the local financial cooperatives where the money will be recirculated in their communities.
The province also announced it will expand the range of subsidiaries that credit unions can hold, removing restrictions that have, for example, prevented them from owning insurance brokerages, as their counterparts can in other provinces.
"We look forward to working with the province to strengthen consumer protection regulations and to developing a new legislative framework that will allow us to succeed in the rapidly changing financial services business," Hoevenaars said.