About Credit Unions

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are financial co-operatives; organizations that are owned by the very people who use their services and where every member has a say in how it's run and where their money goes.  Credit unions strive to strengthen the communities in which they live and work by supporting local businesses and charities, promoting environmental sustainability, and giving back to their members.

Why work for a credit union?

  • Work almost anywhere in Canada! There are over 320 credit unions with over 1700 locations across Canada.
  • We’re great places to work! Canadian credit unions regularly appear in “top employer lists” and are often recognized as employers of choice in their communities.
  • We build future leaders! Credit unions recognize and develop youth to promote cooperative values and become strong, socially responsible leaders.
  • Ongoing training & development! Credit unions offer ongoing training and development for their employees. We even have our own national training program through CUSOURCE®, the Credit Union Knowledge Network (www.ccua.com/cusource).
  • We’re at the leading edge of banking technology! Believe it or not, credit unions have a long list of “firsts” in the Canadian financial services industry.
  • We keep on giving! Credit unions are committed to giving back to their communities through donations of time, money, and services.  Not only did Canadian credit unions contribute over $30 million in charitable fundraising, donations, sponsorships, and economic development activities to their local communities in 2011, in 2010, 70 percent of credit union employees volunteered in community activities, representing their credit union without pay on their personal time.
  • Then we give some more! In addition, many credit unions return millions of dollars each year to their members as dividends on shares or as patronage rebates.

What kind of careers are there in credit unions?

If you're looking for an opportunity to put your knowledge and experience to work, many credit unions are looking for a variety of administrative and professional staff in the following areas:

  • Member service
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Information technology
  • Legal
  • Risk Management
  • Investments and Wealth Management
  • Insurance
  • Operations management
  • Plus a full range of banking careers!

So you think we’re small--Think again!

  • Employees: more than 27,000 from coast to coast
  • Members: more than 5 million across Canada
  • Locations: over 1700 branches and 3000 ATMs
  • Portfolio value: Canadians have over $125 billion on deposit with credit unions and credit unions hold just over $117 billion in member loans.

Credit Union Firsts

  • First loans based on borrower character rather than financial status. (If you had lots of money, why would you need to borrow some?)
  • First financial institution to lend to women in their own names (1960s)
  • First full-service ATM network (1976)
  • First Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  • First branchless bank (Citizens bank)
  • First debit card service
  • First fully functional internet banking
  • First cheque imaging service
  • First to offer daily interest savings
  • First payroll deduction service for deposits and loan payments
  • First open mortgages
  • First home equity lines of credit
  • And most recently, first SMS-based Mobile banking (2009)

Visit Canadian Credit Union Association (www.ccua.com) for more information and statistics on the credit union system.