Manitoba's Credit Unions
CONSOLIDATED SYSTEM STATISTICS
As of December 31, 2021. All figures preliminary unaudited results.
All figures include Manitoba’s 22 independent credit unions plus CUCM’s associate member, Caisse Group Financier / Caisse Financial Group. The Caisse serves French and English-speaking Manitobans from 19 branches in 17 communities.
$ billions/% of assets
Credit union equity consists of member share capital, surplus shares, preferred shares, contributed surplus and retained earnings. It increased in 2021 by $210 million, and consolidated equity as a percentage of system assets remains strong at 6.56%.
CUs & BRANCHES
In 2021, the amalgamation of Access and Crosstown Civic credit unions took the number of individual entities to 23. The number is now 22, since the January 1, 2022 amalgamation of Assiniboine and Entegra credit unions. It will reduce by a further two later in 2022, following the recently approved amalgamation of Access, Noventis and Sunova credit unions.
With more than 700,000 members, Manitoba credit unions and Caisse Financial Group (the Caisse) provide a full suite of financial services to half of all Manitobans. More than seven thousand people opened new memberships in 2021.
Credit unions serve more than half of all Manitobans, from 196 branches in 123 communities across the province.
In 82 of those communities, the credit union or caisse is the only financial institution in town to serve local residents and businesses.
Branch locations as of December 31, 2021.
All figures include Manitoba’s 22 independent credit unions plus CUCM’s associate member, Caisse Group Financier / Caisse Financial Group.
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
It was my honour to join Credit Union Central of Manitoba as the President and Chief
Executive Officer in October 2021.
I have since come to appreciate the level of pride credit unions take in serving as the backbone of financial services in Manitoba.
Manitoba Credit Union System Remains Strong Through the Pandemic
Manitoba credit unions and the Caisse Financial Group (Caisse) provide a full suite of financial services to more than 700,000 members, with locations in 123 communities. They contribute significant economic and social impact throughout the province, by reinvesting profits locally into community growth, businesses, jobs, and families.
Credit unions, like many other businesses, are responding to issues and opportunities related to accelerating digital trends, regulatory changes, and the pandemic. Despite constantly changing conditions, the credit union system remains a force, holding the highest provincial market share in the country, at 40% of all provincial assets.
Credit Union Central of Manitoba's Role
As the trade association for Manitoba credit unions and the Caisse, Credit Union Central of Manitoba (CUCM) plays a crucial role within the system. CUCM advocates on behalf of its members on important priorities, manages liquidity reserves, monitors credit granting procedures and provides support in multiple areas including system governance and government relations. CUCM also provides services in the areas of treasury, credit adjudication, human resources, compliance, strategic consulting, and more.
In 2021, CUCM delivered on important priorities for its members in many areas, including treasury management. Thanks to effective management of our liquidity pool, CUCM was able to provide an additional return of $68 million, or 1.23%, above its cost of funds for short-term deposits (original term less than 13 months) placed with CUCM. At the same time, CUCM worked closely with provincial regulators and stakeholders on liquidity strategies for its members, including working to build the infrastructure necessary to gain access to the Bank of Canada’s emergency liquidity facilities, expected to be complete in 2022.
In an ever-shifting landscape, CUCM’s most important task is continually executing on priorities that drive the greatest value for credit unions. We gathered valuable feedback from credit unions in 2021 regarding shared priorities and opportunities related to advocacy, system-wide projects, and the need to renew approaches to governance as the system shifts in structure and composition.
Review of Strategic Assets
In 2021, CUCM commenced a review of its strategic assets. To date, this has resulted in the decision to reconsider the strategic nature of CUCM’s ownership of the building at 317 Donald Street in Winnipeg, as well as its minority holding in Concentra Bank. CUCM’s board of directors made the decision to offer the building for sale — CUCM is in the process of listing 317 Donald at the time of this report.
Further, in February 2022, SaskCentral, Equitable Bank and Concentra Bank announced an agreement for Equitable to acquire SaskCentral’s entire 84% interest in Concentra Bank (doing business as Wyth Financial). Equitable Bank also reached agreements with additional Concentra shareholders, including CUCM, representing a majority of the remaining 16%. Conclusion of this transaction is expected in 2022. This change in ownership is not expected to create any operational impacts for credit unions or for CUCM.
CUCM has ownership responsibilities, on behalf of credit unions, related to jointly held assets in Celero Solutions, Everlink Payment Services Inc., and the Prairie Payments Joint Venture (PPJV). Throughout 2022, CUCM will continue its assessment of various holdings with a view toward influencing optimal approaches to ownership, governance, and oversight.
Future of Work
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, most employees have been working remotely to prioritize safety and manage business continuity risk. The dedication and adaptability of employees enabled CUCM to maintain strong levels of productivity, motivation, and employee engagement in 2021.
In 2022, CUCM will determine its space requirements based on a model that includes both office-based and home-based work. As CUCM considers its needs for space and the sale of the building, a related priority is CUCM’s ability to attend to the needs of the ‘workplace of the future.’ This means developing the working environment and culture that positions CUCM to meet its objectives.
I would like to acknowledge the significant effort from CUCM employees in advancing important operational and strategic initiatives every day. To CUCM’s board of directors and members, thank you for your support, partnership, and valuable insights. In keeping with cooperative values, credit union leaders invest significant time and energy into systemwide projects, committees, or jointly held assets, which is of significant value to the long-term success of the system.
Finally, on behalf of the system, I appreciate the consultative approach on the part of government and regulators as we work together to find the best solutions for Manitoba credit union members. In 2022, areas of focus will include oversight of significant system initiatives and system owned entities, liquidity management, advocating on behalf of credit unions, and considering how CUCM can best prepare for the future. This is in keeping with CUCM’s operating principles, which emphasize the need to continually evolve CUCM, engage with members to understand needs, and reflect those elements as we change.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD
"As the dynamics of the Manitoba credit union system shift, it has become apparent that a related outcome is the need for continued reinvention of Credit Union Central of Manitoba’s (CUCM) governance structure and democratic processes."
"This reinvention began this past year as the board of directors of CUCM met to contemplate a full governance review at its planning session in October."
The Manitoba credit union system has undergone transformative change over the past two decades.
The sustained growth of credit unions, coupled with consolidation through amalgamation, has resulted in fewer, larger credit unions.
As the dynamics of the Manitoba credit union system shift, it has become apparent that a related outcome is the need for continued reinvention of Credit Union Central of Manitoba’s (CUCM) governance structure and democratic processes. This reinvention began this past year as the board of directors of CUCM met to contemplate a full governance review at its planning session in October.
At the planning session, directors discussed all aspects of CUCM’s governance structure, including the purpose of the board, its size and composition, the proportional voting methodology, the director election process, term limits and the user-pay principle. This was a purposeful and frank discussion that generated good thought and conversation about CUCM’s governance model and the areas where refinement or reimagining is required.
What ultimately emerged from the planning session was the initiation of a formal governance review for CUCM, led by the board and its Governance and Conduct Review Committee. This is important work — work in which all directors have a keen and vested interest — and from it will flow a renewed governance structure for the organization that is representative of the credit union system and aligned with best practices in board governance. As a board, we look forward to this opportunity to shape the future direction of the organization and we're eager to see the results of the review in 2022.
Related to the future direction of the organization, the board and the Governance and Conduct Review Committee also played a key role in the recruitment and hiring of a new President and CEO for CUCM in 2021. Choosing the right CEO is crucial to any organization’s success and following an extensive recruitment and interview process, I’m confident the board made the right choice in selecting Curtis Wennberg to lead CUCM.
In 2021, the board also used its planning sessions to consider and provide input into CUCM’s approach to strategic investments. To meet its business objectives, CUCM requires strategic investments in several areas, including, but not limited to, affiliated co-operative organizations, operational down-stream organizations and major own-use, capital assets. In reviewing this strategy, the board examined CUCM’s strategic investment framework, including the principles and strategy that support it. As a board, it is vital that we play a role in guiding the decision-making around CUCM’s investment choices and rationale now and into the future. This work has provided clarity around directors’ views on ownership and governance requirements for CUCM’s strategic investments. The board anticipates a clear roadmap in 2022.
The board also provided feedback on CUCM’s Corporate Strategic Plan, an annual exercise that allows directors to provide essential input into the organization’s planning process in order to ensure all credit unions’ perspectives and concerns are considered. CUCM’s structure and purpose is a reflection of credit union needs and priorities and therefore the strategic planning process requires an understanding of credit unions’ challenges and their environment.
Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic provided a challenging overlay for all of the board’s work in 2021. While no longer novel, virtual board and committee meetings and hybrid gatherings still called on directors to adapt to new ways of working and interacting with their fellow colleagues on the board. In a role that places such a high value on healthy debate and the exchange of ideas, meeting in a virtual space is rarely ideal. Nevertheless, we’re proud of how the board persevered and worked hard to continue to provide sound stewardship to the organization.
In closing, the board would like to thank CEO Curtis Wennberg and CUCM’s employees for their efforts on behalf of all Manitoba credit unions, and for their support of the system’s governance process, from peer group meetings to CUCM board meetings and planning sessions. We would also like to recognize former CEO Garth Manness, who retired in December 2021 after more than two decades as CUCM’s CEO. CUCM’s board is grateful for his many contributions to the company and for his distinguished tenure as CEO. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow directors for their continued efforts on behalf of their own peer groups, and the entire credit union system.
Manitoba's Credit Unions
Manitoba credit unions have a long and proud history of supporting community endeavours — both individually and collectively through system sponsorships.
In addition to the millions of dollars in donations and sponsorships made by individual credit unions every year, the Manitoba credit union system collectively sponsors a number of worthy causes, based on a set of shared criteria.
Pandemic-related restrictions on public gatherings once again resulted in disruption and cancellations for events across the province in 2021.
When the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association was forced to cancel provincial championship competitions for the 2020-21 school year, credit unions found a new way to use their sponsorship dollars: funds that would normally have been spent on championship medals were instead redirected to expand the Manitoba Credit Unions Scholar Athlete awards. As well as the usual four $1,000 scholarships, every nominee — an additional 37 graduating students who met the demanding academic and athletic criteria — received $400 toward their post-secondary education.
Manitoba’s credit unions are also longtime sponsors of the Curl Manitoba Master Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Manitoba Games and Manitoba 55-Plus Games. While none took place as scheduled in 2021, credit unions remain committed to supporting these premiere events when they resume.
System sponsorships of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association ‘Aquanty’ project and the Wasagaming Foundation’s Camp Wannakumbac were less affected by restrictions and carried on as usual in 2021.
Bringing Art to Manitoba
As part of the province’s Manitoba 150 celebrations (which were rescheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Manitoba’s credit unions were proud to step up as presenting sponsors of TOUR 150: Nakatamaakewin — a mobile exhibit of art from the vaults of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Qaumajuq Inuit Art Centre.
From early July through mid-September, the tour made 39 stops across the province, setting up outside credit union branches in 30 communities. Traveling in a retrofit van adorned with original art by Inuit artist Kailey Sheppard, Nakatamaakewin showcased hand-crafted Inuit works in soapstone, felt, print, textiles and other materials from the WAG’s extensive collection. Going forward, the WAG plans to tour new exhibitions in the van, making Nakatamaakewin a lasting gift from Manitoba’s credit unions to the communities they serve.
CUCM EMPLOYEE GIVING
Despite pandemic-related restrictions, CUCM arranged 35 volunteer opportunities for employees in 2021, including Take Pride Community Cleanup days (pictured) in June and September.
CUCM’s corporate giving is driven by employee decisions.
In the spirit of the seventh co-operative principle, Concern for
Community, CUCM matches employee donations to registered
charities through the annual United Way / All Charities campaign and other activities (such as Staff Club fundraisers
and sponsored events).
Together, CUCM and its employees have contributed well
over one million dollars in the past decade to a diverse group
CUCM also regularly invites representatives from charitable
organizations to share their stories at all-staff meetings --
building connections and inspiring employees with new
opportunities to volunteerand support worthwhile causes in
To align to its goals and values, CUCM measures its
community engagement as part of its corporate balanced
CUCM employees donated their money ($) or volunteered time (V) to the following charitable organizations in 2021:
Agape Table Inc. ($)
Alpha House ($)
ALS Society of Manitoba ($)
Alzheimer’s Society ($)
Aurora Family Therapy Centre ($)
Bear Clan Patrol ($)
Canadian Blood Services (V)
Canadian Cancer Society ($)
Canadian Liver Foundation ($)
Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute ($)
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society ($)
Canadian Women’s Foundation ($)
CancerCare Manitoba Foundation ($)
Career Trek ($)
Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba ($)
Children’s Wish Foundation ($)
Christmas Cheer Board ($) (V)
Community Education Development Assoc. ($)
Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada ($)
CURE Foundation ($)
Diabetes Canada ($) (V)
Dream Factory ($)
Firefighters Burn Fund ($)
Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre ($)
Habitat for Humanity ($)
Habitat for Humanity Women Build ($)
Harvest Manitoba ($) (V)
Heart & Stroke Foundation ($)
HSC Foundation ($)
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) ($)
Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. ($)
Kidney Foundation ($)
Koats for Kids (V)
La Leche League Canada ($) (V)
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre ($) (V)
Main Street Project ($)
Manitoba Children’s Museum ($)
Manitoba Marathon ($) (V)
Marymound Inc. (V)
Mennonite Central Committee ($)
Newcomers Employment & Education Development Services (NEEDS Inc.) ($)
Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. ($)
Never Alone Foundation ($)
North Point Douglas Women’s Centre (Mama Bear Clan) ($)
Plan International ($)
Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre ($)
Rossbrook House ($)
Salvation Army ($) (V)
Siloam Mission ($) (V)
Take Pride Winnipeg Community Cleanup (V)
United Way of Winnipeg ($) (V)
West Broadway Youth Outreach ($)
Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre ($)
Winnipeg Humane Society ($) (V)
Credit Union Central of Manitoba offices are located on Treaty 1 Territory.
Manitoba credit unions serve members on lands and communities associated with Treaties 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10. These include the ancestral lands and waters of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.