The Credit Union Difference: Why Canadians are Choosing Credit Unions to Reach their Financial Goals

The Credit Union Difference: Why Canadians are Choosing Credit Unions to Reach their Financial Goals

Are you looking for a financial institution that cares about helping their communities and members improve their environmental, social, and economic well-being? Since the early 1900s, credit unions across Canada have set themselves apart for their personalized and people-focused approach to financial services. That is because when you bank with a credit union, your financial needs come first, and helping you reach all your short and long-term financial goals is their top priority.

Here are just a few of the reasons that close to 11 million Canadians love banking with a credit union:

1. They Provide Award-Winning Service & Financial Planning

Do you find yourself calling your chosen financial institution seeking advice from a financial advisor only to be put on hold and dealing with long wait times? Canada’s credit unions could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Their people-focused approach to financial services offers members a unique customer experience, ensuring all your financial questions are answered with the quality and care you deserve. Simply put, credit unions know what excellent customer service looks like.

But don’t just take our word for it – Canadians have voted and have ranked Canada’s credit unions as #1 in Customer Service Excellence – above all other financial institutions – for the past 19 years in a row through the IPSOS Financial Service Excellence Awards.

This year saw Canada’s credit unions receive a total of six Ipsos awards, reflecting the continuing high levels of service provided to their members. The categories in which Canada’s Credit Unions were lauded include:

  • Customer Service Excellence (solo win)
  • Values My Business (solo win)
  • Financial Planning & Advice
  • Branch Service Excellence (solo win)
  • Online Banking Excellence
  • Live Agent Telephone Banking Excellence (solo win)

 “The awards credit unions have received highlight the sector’s mission to go beyond mere transactions and truly invest in the well-being of our members and the communities we serve.” – Jeff Guthrie, Canadian Credit Union Association President and CEO.

Bottom line – credit unions are truly committed to providing spectacular member service, and it is this commitment to excellence that sets them apart in the financial sector.

“Banking at my credit union has a personal feeling to it. Staff always say hi and know my name. This makes me feel important and that I am not just a number like at the big banks” – Elaine, Kawartha Credit Union

2. They Care About Your Financial Well-Being

Whether you have $100 or $100,000 in your chequing account, rest assured Canada’s credit unions are committed to understanding the unique financial needs of all of its members to ensure you get the financial advice you need to reach your short and long-term financial goals. Their tailored, one-on-one approach to financial services further illustrates that credit unions truly care about understanding their members’ needs and working with them to build their unique roadmap to a brighter financial future.

“My wife and I have been dealing with our credit union for many years now. Their outstanding professionalism is demonstrated each time I am there doing my banking. What makes them accelerate beyond larger financial institutions is the genuine personal concern for each individual member.” – Chris, Oshawa Community Credit Union

Knowing that my financial well-being is in such good hands gives me one less thing to stress about. It is a rare thing to get professional advice and service combined with personal attention and caring and my credit union delivers all of this and more. Over the years they have provided me with advice and service regarding mortgages, RRSPs, personal loans, a line of credit and investment opportunities. When I go into the branch I’m always greeted by name – and these days, when so many things are automated and impersonal – that means a lot to me” – Liz, Northern Credit Union

3. They Give Back to Their Local Communities

If you are looking for a financial institution that cares about investing in the economic future of its members and local communities, it’s time to become a credit union member. Credit unions do not just talk about supporting their local communities – they put their money where their mouth is. In 2021, Canada’s Credit Unions contributed $55 million through donations, sponsorships, scholarships, volunteer hours, financial literacy programs, and more.

“I really like the involvement credit union staff have in our town and community. It is so great to see them out and about at events, volunteering their time. They set a great example for other businesses. I like the small-town energy of walking into our credit union, where if you don’t know someone, you will soon.” – Eleanor, Synergy Credit Union 

4. They Support Local Businesses

Credit unions’ care for their communities does not stop there! They continue to be proud supporters of local businesses in communities nationwide and are the leaders in small business lending in Canada. Holding 21% of the national lending market share, they offer financial assistance to more than 350,000 small and medium-sized businesses and can offer greater flexibility in their financing options to small business owners compared to other financial institutions.

Ultimately, running a small business is no easy task, but Canada’s credit unions are here to help entrepreneurs realize their business dreams.

“The credit union went above and beyond from the first phone call I made… I thought I’d rent [the building for my business] for my whole career, I thought it would be too hard to get my own, but the credit union came through and made it very easy… As a new member of my credit union, I feel like I’ve been served like I was there for 25 years. The way we do business has completely changed for the better.” – Jason Blanchard, Brunswick Credit Union Member

“My favourite part about banking with a credit union is the personal service I receive. If I ever have an issue I get a call back right away, or I can deal with someone right away who is familiar with me and my business. Our goals right now are to expand our line and move into a larger space, so we will need the support of the credit union to reach that goal.” – Karen, small business owner and member of Gulf & Fraser Credit Union


More testimonials:

“I found that dealing with my previous financial institution did not ease any anxieties [about my debt] and even made me feel downright ashamed. I felt I was looked down upon for not understanding financial literacy and even blocked calls from my previous financial institution to avoid any conversation about my finances. But the credit union changed EVERYTHING. They didn’t judge me for the position I was in or what happened in my life. They took the time to ensure I understood my options and it didn’t matter how much money I had to my name. I was still respected. – Selena, Atlantic Edge Credit Union

“From the time we first made contact with [branch representative] Catherine in June, she has been working diligently making sure that we get the best mortgage possible. We are pleased with her dedication and work ethic, and her dedication to accuracy. Catherine puts her customers first and respects their wishes. She is a very good listener. Thank you, Catherine, for the hard work you have put into our file. Thank you as well to Erin for filling in for Catherine when she was on vacation. A real team effort. They have the friendliest employees.” – Mel, Innovation Credit Union

“The biggest thing I love about banking with my credit union is that they are so supportive and they don’t look at you as just a customer, they look at you like a member.” Jessica, Williams Lake and District Credit Union

“I like the fact you come in you’re really not treated like a number, except number one. So, everybody says hi, we knew everybody here. I find the service to be really good. I feel it is important to have a bank that works with you and supports you when you need them. Bow Valley’s been excellent with that kind of stuff. I have no complaints, whatsoever.” ~ Bow Valley Credit Union

“Every single financial thing I need, I go to my credit union. They support us with our mortgage, savings, retirement and so much more.” – Yvon Boudreau, Coastal Financial Credit Union

“I love my credit union for so many reasons. The customer service is great, they’re so friendly, I know I can trust them, I like that they’re community-focused, and I also like the one-on-one (financial) coaching that they provide.” – Jessica, Libro Credit Union member

Join the 10.9+ million Canadians who trust their local credit union for their banking needs…Become a credit union member today

No matter your financial goal – learning how to save, start your own business, or saving for retirement – Canada’s credit unions can help you get there. Not yet a credit union member? Find your nearest credit union here.