New Changes to Strengthen Credit Unions and Protect Consumers now in Effect
Ontario Supporting Small Business and Local Communities
Ontario has made changes to help credit unions and caisses populaires be more competitive, protect consumers and better serve people and businesses across the province.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, spoke today at the FirstOntario Credit Union Business Centre in Hamilton about the changes that came into force on January 1, 2018.
- Increasing the deposit insurance limit for credit union deposits from $100,000 to $250,000
- Removing rules that restricted smaller credit unions' investment and lending options, supporting their ability to participate in broader investment and lending activities
- Allowing credit unions to enter into loan syndication agreements with their counterparts in other provinces so they can offer greater financing to Ontario individuals and businesses
- Permitting credit unions to own insurance agents or registered insurance brokers as subsidiaries so they can diversify their investment opportunities
- Levelling the playing field with banks by modifying regulations in various Ontario statutes to include credit unions as permissible financial institutions.
Strengthening the province's credit union sector and protecting consumers is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Owned by their members, credit unions and caisses populaires take deposits and provide loans and other financial services. Caisses populaires provide services to French-speaking communities.
- The province’s 81 credit unions and caisses populaires have provided over $48 billion in outstanding loans to Ontario households and businesses as of September 2017.
- Approximately 7,000 Ontarians are employed by these institutions.
- Municipalities can now accept a cheque that is certified by a credit union as a deposit in municipal tax sales.
- These changes are based on recommendations contained in the 2015 report on the review of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994. The review, which takes place every five years, included consultations with experts, industry groups and people across the province.
“Credit unions and caisses populaires are essential to our communities and Ontario’s economy. These changes enable greater competitiveness in the sector, which will help create good jobs and provide valuable financial services to people and businesses across the province.”
“This move by the Ontario government is about understanding the vital importance and strength of credit unions. FirstOntario Credit Union is rooted in our local communities and these changes open the doors to bringing the credit union benefits to even more people who are looking for a real alternative to banks.”