Amalgamation of credit unions complete

Dave Stewart
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Metro merges with Stella Maris to create one credit union called Provincial Credit Union

Bernard Gillis, general manager of the credit union.

The formal amalgamation of Metro and Stella Maris credit unions is officially complete.

The new credit union will now be known as Provincial Credit Union, although officials are still waiting for the new signage to arrive.

The amalgamation took effect Oct. 1, giving the credit union $260 million in assets under the administration. When the credit union looks at its savings and loans it would probably be in the range of $425 million in terms of total business volume from a loans and deposits standpoint.

“When we met to consider the amalgamation that was one of the items we decided to do was change the name. We involved a company to do some work for us and we came up with Provincial Credit Union,’’ said Bernard Gillis, general manager of the credit union.

The credit union now boasts 15,000 members and 51 employees at the three branch offices located in Charlottetown, North Rustico and Stratford. The amalgamation does not include branches in Montague or Morell, for example.

“Whereas our name may be Provincial Credit Union, it doesn’t include the other individual credit union offices across P.E.I.’’

Gillis said they started looking at options when the manager at Stella Maris decided to retire after four decades in the business.

“They wanted to look at all options. Whenever it came time to replacing him or amalgamations, as a result of his leaving, when they considered everything they felt amalgamating was the best option for their credit union in the long run.’’

There have been numerous amalgamations of credit unions nationally over the past decade. The objective is to better position the businesses to meet competitive challenges by combining their operations.

Bank customers want chip cards, flash cards and mobile banking, to name just a few of the current technologies that demand much from credit unions.

Membership in Atlantic Canada has also been shrinking. There was a regional loss of 2.6 per cent of total membership in the last 10 years although national figures show an 11 per cent membership increase.

Gillis said the amalgamated credit union won’t infringe on anyone else’s trading area. In other words, the folks at Provincial Credit Union won’t be pursuing business opportunities in Morell, which has its own credit union.

“(What it does) allow is a large entity to pursue business opportunities that perhaps we wouldn’t have taken advantage of before or even looked at before. It will allow the branch in North Rustico to look, perhaps, at business that they may not have considered soliciting in the past.’’

There are seven credit unions across the province that do not fall under the umbrella of Provincial Credit Union.

Organizations: Provincial Credit Union, Metro inc.

Geographic location: North Rustico, Charlottetown, Stratford Montague P.E.I. Atlantic Canada

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