Skip Links
Credit union employees and youth

What makes a credit union different from a bank

Credit unions are full service financial co-operatives. Like other financial institutions, they provide chequing accounts, mortgages, business loans and investment advice. But every credit union’s Board of Directors consists of democratically elected members from their community. Locally-elected boards of directors help credit unions better understand what’s important to our members and how we keep our decisions based on local realities. Rooted in this co-operative structure, the credit union difference is all about service – to members and our communities. 

Multiple faces

You’re an owner, not just a customer

Credit unions are owned by their members – the people who bank with them. All members have an equal say in how their credit union operates. Members can voice their concerns and vote on the issues that matter to them.

We put you before profits

Credit unions’ profits have a higher purpose – to benefit the people they were built to serve. They take the time to understand their members’ needs and work hard to tailor their products and services to meet them. Money left over at the end of the year is returned to members in the form of dividends, and donated to communities in the form of donations, scholarships and other initiatives.

People ahead of profits
Teller

You are equal with all other members

No matter how much or little you have in deposits at your credit union, you’re entitled to the best rates, perks and offers available. Every credit union member has an equal share, an equal vote, and an equal voice.

We support the communities where you live, work and play

Credit unions’ purpose is to provide service to members and to contribute to your economic, social, and environmental well-being. Learn more about some of the ways that credit unions are helping local communities prosper.

Main street
World Council of Credit Unions

We're independent, but connected

Unlike banks, each credit union is an independent, locally controlled financial institution. Yet we are connected by a set of common international co-operative principles. Together we have a strong voice that advocates for a better, fairer way to bank for all Canadians.

Find a credit union near you

Credit Union Social Responsibility

Canada’s credit unions are doing the ordinary, extraordinarily. It’s what we’ve been doing all along. You can find out more by keeping up with our blog and reading our Success Stories.

In the News