An exciting future…
Goodsoil Credit Union’s board of directors is recommending an amalgamation with Innovation Credit Union. We want to continue to meet our members’ needs and after careful consideration and research, our board and management found Innovation’s approach to responsible banking and commitment to adding exceptional value to their members’ banking experience an appealing fit for our organization.
We’ve also been following Innovation’s journey to become a federal credit union and feel that we would like to be a part of that exciting journey.
We held an informational meeting in December for all Goodsoil Credit Union members to discuss our recommendation. The next major step will be our Annual General meeting to vote on our amalgamation proposal. Please bring one piece of government issued of photo ID to be eligible to vote. Our amalgamation target date is January 1, 2019.
We’ll post more amalgamation and meeting details in the near future. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact us!
Value Of An Amalgamation
The value in moving forward with an amalgamation is evident for members, Goodsoil employees, and our community.
1) Member value
Innovation’s approach to responsible banking means they are committed to adding value to their members’ financial lives. A prime example of this is Innovation’s Member Rewards program. The program is based on three pillars: Save, Earn, and Give. Innovation members save with products like their No-Fee Account which includes free Interac e-Transfers and remote deposit capture, where members can deposit cheques through their smartphone. Their members can earn money simply by doing their everyday banking with Innovation. The more business members do, the more they earn. This business also translates into community support. Innovation members have helped them give back over $5.2 million to the communities they serve over the past 11 years.
Expanded product and service line
Innovation not only offers a No-Fee Account, its product and service line is a leader in the province:
- Mobile-friendly website with Live Chat
- Mobile app
- Online banking for both personal and business use that includes personal financial management tools
- Remote deposit capture
- Mobile Pay for Android
- A Saskatchewan-based call centre with extended hours of service
- Full-service wealth management professionals
They also offer larger lending limits and attractive lending and investment rates.
Expanded branch network
Innovation has 22 advice centre/branch locations, which means more locations for Goodsoil members to conveniently access. They also have a Mobile Advice Centre—a branch on wheels!—that can travel to more remote locations to assist with members not close to an Innovation location.
2) Employee value
Innovation Credit Union offers a number of career and education opportunities. They invest in their employees and employ technology to leverage staff at every location including smaller rural locations.
3) Community value
The Give portion of Innovation’s Member Rewards program enables them to give 2 to 4% of pre-tax profits back to the communities they serve. The Goodsoil community would have access to business development project funds, sponsorship dollars, charitable donations, and a scholarship program that awards scholarships to high school students in Innovation’s trading area.
Additionally, Innovation would create a legacy fund made up of 10% of Goodsoil Credit Union’s yearend retained earnings which would be administered by a committee established by the current board of directors and distributed through an application process. As an example of potential funds available, last year’s retained earnings were $546,000.
4) Governance value
If the credit unions amalgamate, a current Goodsoil board member will have a seat on Innovation’s board for a minimum of 3 years. This will ensure Goodsoil has a strong voice for our community.
What Stay's The Same
If Innovation and Goodsoil Credit Unions amalgamate, there are a number of things that wouldn’t change for Goodsoil members and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
You will still see the same friendly, familiar faces you’ve come to know and trust. This includes the Goodsoil leadership team. There would be no loss of employment, employee relocation, or reduction in income. Goodsoil employee benefits would be equal to their current program or improved with the amalgamation.
Credit union values and principles
Both Innovation and Goodsoil have credit union co-operative values strongly rooted in Saskatchewan. It’s who we are and who we’ll continue to be.
If the two credit unions should amalgamate, Goodsoil Credit Union members’ current equity would roll into their Innovation Member Rewards account.
Innovation’s federalization plan is to keep jobs and branches/advice centres in their local communities, using local employees and technology to serve members across Canada. This is a great way to keep jobs right here in Saskatchewan, in their advice centre communities. As such, their business plan to 2029 as a federal credit union states all branches/advice centres including Goodsoil will remain open.
Becoming a Federal Credit Union
Innovation Credit Union members have voted in favor of Innovation becoming the first federal credit union headquartered in Saskatchewan.
As a federal credit union, Innovation will have the flexibility to address business challenges on the horizon, including a static, aging membership and growing competition from banks and technology companies who already provide financial services across the country. Becoming federal will allow them to actively promote their brand to non-members outside Saskatchewan.
Their initial plans are solely focused on digital growth and expansion, versus the opening of any new physical branches. Digital expansion means servicing members across Canada with their current employees through online, telephone, and mobile banking. Becoming a federal credit union is great for Innovation’s local communities. Through technology, their existing staff will serve members across Canada which means jobs right here!
Click here to view an information booklet.
As a federal credit union, Innovation would be regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the unlimited deposit guarantee provided by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) would transition to the level of deposit insurance coverage provided by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Eligible deposits to a federal credit union receive $100,000 of coverage in each of the following categories through CDIC:
- deposits held in one name
- savings accounts
- operating accounts
- term deposits with maturities of 5 years or less
- deposits in a trust account
- deposits in RRSPs
- deposits in RRIFs
- deposits in tax-free savings accounts
- deposits in joint accounts
- deposits in pay realty taxes on mortgaged properties
However, members’ deposits will continue with an unlimited guarantee beyond the date they become a federal credit union. For terms, the unlimited guarantee will extend until the term expires – even if beyond the continuance date. For demand products, the unlimited guarantee will remain in place for 180 days beyond the continuance date.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: for over 80% of Innovation’s personal members, $100,000 in each of these categories is more than adequate coverage. If we amalgamate with Innovation, we will proactively work with our members to ensure that they are receiving the most coverage available once we fully transition to CDIC.
For further information on potential upcoming changes to deposit insurance if Innovation becomes a federal credit union, please see our disclosure notice .
- deposits held in one name
We held our special member meeting to learn more about this opportunity in December. Thank you to those who could attend!
Member voting on this amalgamation proposal will take place at our Annual Meeting on March 28, 2018. We’ll share meeting details and location soon!
Questions & Answers
1. Why is the credit union changing the way it does business?
The board recognizes it is becoming more difficult to meet our members’ needs and have realized we need to explore other options. After reviewing various presentations, the board and management found Innovation’s approach to responsible banking and adding exceptional value to members’ financial lives very appealing. Please see the Value of an amalgamationsection above for more details.
2. If Goodsoil amalgamates with Innovation and becomes part of a larger provincial or national body, will there still be service in our area?
Innovation Credit Union is committed to keeping their current advice centres open which would include our Goodsoil branch. Innovation is currently exploring the opportunity to become a federal credit union based in Saskatchewan. This will allow us to look for members and deposits outside of our current trading area. Innovation’s federal strategy is contingent on their current staff members serving new virtual members from their current advice centres.
3. What Goodsoil staff changes can we expect?
Our employees are our most valuable resource and that won’t change. Innovation Credit Union is committed to having a presence in the Goodsoil area if the members vote in favor of the amalgamation. There will be a lot of work that will need to be done regarding structure, positions, and systems. It is our hope that this process will offer increased career opportunities, security and employment satisfaction for all our staff. All staff will be guaranteed similar employment to Goodsoil with Innovation.
4. Is Goodsoil Credit Union in financial trouble?
Goodsoil Credit Union is currently in a strong financial position which includes an appropriate capital and liquidity position. This direction is being pursued from a long-term perspective. Our board has recognized for some time that it is becoming more difficult to meet our members’ needs due to several influences. We believe our ability to meet member needs for the long-term would be more effective by joining Innovation Credit Union.
5. Why is the board making this recommendation now?
Over the last few years, our board has reviewed and participated in various service models. More recently we decided that an amalgamation was the best option for the future of the members of Goodsoil Credit Union. We have spent the last few months talking with several potential amalgamation partners and putting together a recommendation. The board believes staff and members deserve the best and a partnership with Innovation Credit Union will mean seeing several benefits to our members. See the above Value of an amalgamation section for details.
6. Do members have a say in what happens?
Most definitely. We held a member meeting in December to discuss the amalgamation in more detail as well as what it means to be a federally regulated credit union. We’re also open to any questions you have. We want to present you with everything you need to make an informed decision. You can submit a question directly by clicking on the Contact Us link above or ask one of the Goodsoil staff members and we’ll ensure your question is answered.
7. Do members of both Goodsoil Credit Union and Innovation get to vote on the amalgamation?
According to the Credit Union Act, because Goodsoil’s asset size is less than 10% of Innovation’s asset base, the board of Innovation can approve the amalgamation by motion at a board meeting. The only membership that are required to vote is Goodsoil’s. In order for the amalgamation to proceed, 75% of those voting from the Goodsoil Credit Union membership will have to vote in favor of the amalgamation, which includes becoming a federal credit union.
8. When would the amalgamation take place?
The proposed merger date is January 1, 2019. The process to become a federal credit union would happen in approximately 2020.
9. How will this affect me personally?
Following an amalgamation, you will see many new benefits (please reference the Value of an amalgamation section) while still maintaining the benefits of being a Goodsoil member (please reference the What stays the same section).
10. Will we still have access to all the same products and services at Goodsoil as we do now? Will we have to go to another branch for loan services?
You will be able to access all the same products and services and more. This includes Innovation’s No-Fee Account. The same staff will be here to work with you to meet your financial needs. There will also be additional expertise available to assist the local staff with specialty or larger loans, as well as in the Wealth Management area.
11. Will we have access to all Innovation products and rates on the amalgamation date?
Goodsoil members will be able to take advantage of term, loan and prime rates immediately after the amalgamation date. Goodsoil members will have access to the entire product line of Innovation as soon as the banking system can merge. Our goal is to have the banking system merged as close to the amalgamation date as possible.
12. Will we lose our personal touch by joining a bigger credit union?
Not at all. Our members are the reason we exist. Credit unions have a history of excellence in customer service and an amalgamation won’t change that. We value our members and our relationship with them. The same friendly and professional staff with be here to serve you. Both Goodsoil and Innovation Credit Unions take a leadership role in supporting their communities. If anything, we expect that commitment to the communities we serve will be enhanced by joining with Innovation.
13. Will I be forced to change my account number?
At this point, it’s too early to predict any changes to account numbers, although it is a possibility. We’ll communicate any changes of this nature well in advance and do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition.
14. Will our branch hours of service change?
Goodsoil and Innovation currently have similar hours of operation in Innovation’s rural locations. As part of our process we will ensure that we align with similar Innovation branches but any changes would be minimal. Innovation also provides expanded hours of service to members through the availability of its call centre.
15. Will we have board representation?
If the credit unions amalgamate, a current board member will have a seat on Innovation’s board for a minimum of 3 years. Innovation is also open to establishing a formal advisory panel consisting of current Goodsoil board members or other members of the community. This panel would meet at least semiannually to provide input to the new credit union. It could also be responsible for the community development fund mentioned in the Value of an amalgamation section.
16. Will there continue to be a general manager based out of Goodsoil?
We would like to keep the current general manager on in a leadership capacity, however, branches at Innovation do not have general managers, rather Regional Vice Presidents that oversee a group of branches.
17. What will happen to our member equity?
Goodsoil Credit Union members’ current equity would roll into their new Member Rewards account at Innovation. Some key points about Innovation’s Member Rewards:
- Over $21.5 million allocated since 2007 plus an additional $2.4 million in 2017 year to date
- Quarterly cash dividends paid as well as youth dividends
18. With Innovation becoming a federally-regulated credit union does that mean our deposit insurance will change?
As a federal credit union, Innovation would be regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the unlimited deposit guarantee provided by Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) would transition to the level of deposit insurance coverage provided by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).
19. What impact will this change in deposit insurance have on me as a member?
Rather than an unlimited guarantee through CUDGC, members are eligible for $100,000 of coverage in a variety of categories through CDIC. The majority of our members will see no impact to the change in deposit insurance. CDIC insurance is sufficient to cover the deposits of the majority of our consumer members. There is additional coverage available for members with more than $100,000 on deposit if they hold joint accounts, trust accounts, and registered accounts. CDIC provides coverage up to $100,000 in each eligible category of deposits. We’ll work with our members to maximize their coverage.