Alongside a business’ commitment to achieving growth and sustainability comes an equal commitment to transformation and evolution. Whether it’s new technology or exploring alternative financial solutions, or the quick pivots we all made to adapt our services through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing change and transformation is simply a part of life.
And, it’s because of that ongoing commitment that we have accomplished so many great things, thanks to the power of our people and their resilience, determination, and dedication.
So, it’s with our people in mind – both internally with our staff and externally with our members and our communities – that we are excited to announce that formal discussions are underway regarding a potential merger between Access Credit Union, Noventis Credit Union, and Sunova Credit Union.
Our respective leaders began discussions in January 2021 after each organization recognized that ongoing change was necessary for continued growth and to ensure ongoing value for our members in an increasingly competitive environment. Over the past few months, after many discussions and development of a concept paper that all three boards have approved, initial reviews and evaluation have revealed that this potential partnership is worth exploring.
How do we find the right ‘fit’?
There’s no doubt that aligning with like-minded partners is key to success. Considering each organization has a history and values that are rooted in community and relationships, alongside forward-thinking ambitions focused on longevity, growth, and exceptional service experiences, our boards are confident that our three organizations align and complement one another nicely.
At the same time, each credit union also has unique differences – valued attributes, that, when blended together, will most certainly be welcome enhancements and admired differentiating factors for the future.
Over the next couple of months, a detailed business case will be developed for each credit union board to review and determine if they will move forward and recommend the proposed merger to our respective memberships.
As part of our continued due diligence, each organization will encourage broad participation by engaging with our employees and our members. Through ongoing dialogue, surveys, and ‘town hall’ meetings, we will take the next few months to gather feedback, questions, and input, which will be incredibly valuable as we determine our next steps and the boards prepare to make their decisions.
There are some unknowns and a lot that we will learn and discover along the way, but our respective boards and leadership teams are certain that this opportunity has presented a shared vision for the future absolutely worth exploring. We look forward to the discussions and dialogue and opportunities that lie ahead.
The boards have three primary audiences in mind when evaluating the benefits associated with this opportunity: our staff, our members, and our communities.
As a result of the merger, all staff would have a place in the new organization and access to even greater opportunities for career advancement thanks to an increased variety of positions and more specialized roles. With an increased branch network, connecting us to many communities in Manitoba, and a leadership team that embraces flexible arrangements, there will be no shortage of opportunity for those who want it.
In addition, the new organization would offer increased capacity for ongoing learning and development with increased investment in training, tools, and resources to ensure employees are provided every opportunity to be successful and satisfied in their careers.
An even stronger credit union will achieve greater efficiencies and long-term financial resilience by eliminating duplicated costs and taking advantage of more economies of scale. This will allow for continued investments in technology and enhanced service experiences, competitive rates, and the potential for a strong patronage program for our members.
Without the risk of losing valued relationships with existing staff, members would enjoy the added convenience of a larger branch network, access to the expertise and knowledge of our combined workforce, along with enhanced products, services, and technological solutions. While the exact specifics of the products and services members will have access to will be finalized after the new organization is formed, there’s no doubt that the commitment to our membership and their banking experience is top of mind and one of the key drivers of this proposed collaboration.
The new organization would be financially stronger than any of the credit unions individually, and would have the ability to support our communities with new services and resources, such as enhanced online and mobile services, and the resources and capacity to serve larger businesses than is possible today. This would allow our members (and all of our potential members!) to have more of their financial services needs met by their local credit union, with added convenience and accessibility.
As three individual credit unions, we all know our purpose goes beyond just making a profit; we are about people and we are about relationships. We always have been and know we always will be, as that commitment would remain a priority for the new organization. With our member’s best interests at heart, we would continue to use our knowledge and commitment to community to provide valued solutions to our members each and every day.
And, maybe most importantly, our combined credit union would not only continue the community involvement and support each organization is known for, but, as a result of this merger, we would have a tremendous opportunity to broaden our impact and do (even more) good together.
The Boards of Directors from all three credit unions began discussions and conducted initial reviews for a potential merger between our organizations.
Public announcement that the three credit unions are in merger discussions.
September 2021 to November 2021
Members, staff, and our communities will be provided information, progress updates, and continuous opportunities for Q & A and two-way dialogue.
The finalized business case will be presented to each credit union board for review and approval.
Late 2021 / Early 2022
If the business case is approved by each credit union board of directors, each board will sign an amalgamation agreement and recommend the proposed merger to their memberships. Members will be notified that a vote will occur.
Members vote on the proposed merger as outlined in the amalgamation agreement.
Prior to July 1, 2022
Approval from regulators and Competition Bureau.
July 1, 2022
The journey as the new Access Credit Union begins!
Here’s a snapshot of what the new combined credit union could look like by the numbers based on our consolidated data from June 2021:
$9.49B in balance sheet assets
52 branches in Manitoba
168,955+ credit union members
796+ full-time employees
Here’s a financial summary of where we are today as three individual credit unions, and what the new combined organization would look like (Note: Data in table as of June 30, 2021).
|Balance sheet assets||$9.49B||$6.03B||$1.14 B||$2.32B|
|Assets under management||$10.07B||$6.36B||$1.23B||$2.48B|
|Employees||796 FTE||396 FTE||150 FTE||250 FTE|
|Subsidiaries||The combined credit union will have a collection of subsidiary operations, Until further analysis is completed, it would be business as usual.||Insurance Companies |
Real Estate Investment Hold Co
|Interlake Agencies Ltd. (Real Estate and Insurance)||Brio Insurance|
(Insurance Broker Offices)
Hubert Financial (Virtual Division)
Branch & Service Network
The new organization, created by Access, Noventis, and Sunova, will have branches across Manitoba, connecting our communities with even more locations and financial resources. The three credit unions also operate insurance offices throughout Winnipeg, southern Manitoba, and the Interlake.