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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. Locally-elected boards of directors help keep our decisions based on local realities and the needs of members.

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. 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

You are equal with all other members

No matter how much or little you have in deposits at your credit union, every credit union member has equal ownership and the opportunity to benefit from all the advantages of their cooperative.

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.

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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 offer a better, fairer way to bank for all Canadians.