WINNIPEG MB (March 29, 2021) – For more than 80 years, credit unions have been there for Manitobans in times of need. Amid challenging conditions in 2020, Manitoba’s credit unions remained steadfast in their commitment to serving members and making a difference in their communities.
“2020 called for agility to a greater extent than ever before. Credit unions focused on ensuring the well-being of members and employees, continually adapting service and guidance to emerging needs and priorities,” said Garth Manness, CEO of Credit Union Central of Manitoba, the trade association serving Manitoba’s 22 credit unions.
As designated critical service providers, credit unions moved quickly to implement measures that ensured safety and continuity of service. They encouraged and supported members to use online and virtual service channels, transformed branch operations, and redeployed staff to the areas of greatest need.
As the pandemic introduced financial uncertainty and hardship for many, credit unions provided lending relief, and worked to ensure members could access crucial government relief programs through their credit union. Between April and December 2020, nearly half a billion dollars in Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans from the Government of Canada flowed to Manitoba small businesses through credit unions.
Credit unions continued to provide local supports in their communities. They sought out areas of greatest need that arose due to the pandemic, including rising food insecurity and the need to support local business.
Ultimately, the collective efforts of Manitoba credit union leaders and employees, who went the extra mile, benefited their members and communities.
“Year-end financial results highlight the resiliency of Manitoba credit unions and their ability to respond to the needs of members,” Manness said. “Combined, the system grew by more than 11,000 new memberships and nearly $3 billion in assets. Lending growth remained positive with a 3.49% increase over the prior year.”
Credit unions are important financial institutions for Manitobans, with branches in 107 distinct communities across the province. In 65 of those communities, a credit union is the only financial institution in place to serve local residents and businesses. They are locally invested financial co-operatives, owned and governed by the members who use their services.
“Through their operations, lending, and community support, Manitoba credit unions are always strong drivers of economic activity,” states Manness. “The COVID-19 chapter of our history continues to be written. Credit unions will walk the path forward together with Manitobans, working hard to make a positive impact for individuals, businesses and communities in our province.”
From creating online platforms for local retailers, to supporting the launch of new food banks and more, credit unions supported Manitobans in creative ways in 2020.
You are invited to learn more through CUCM’s digital annual report, at https://www.cucm.org/annual-reports.html.
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About Credit Union Central of Manitoba (CUCM)
CUCM is the trade association and service provider for the province’s 22 autonomous credit unions and is governed by Manitoba’s Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act. CUCM manages liquidity reserves, monitors credit granting procedures and provides trade services in areas such as corporate governance, government relations, representation and advocacy. CUCM also provides payment and settlement systems, banking, treasury, human resources, research, communications, marketing, planning, lending, product/service R & D, and business consulting services to credit unions. Manitoba credit unions jointly own CUCM and representatives from five peer groups sit on its board of directors. CUCM is financed through assessments and fee income derived through its operations.
John Hamilton, Manager, Knowledge Services & Engagement
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