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Dan-in-Ottawa

Ottawa attacks credit unions

Sometimes I find Ottawa related media coverage can be frustrating. As an example, you have heard this week one or more stories related to President Trump and Russia.

However, have you heard that Canada’s credit unions are once again under attack from Ottawa? As a result, I wrote the following Op-Ed on this topic that I would like to share for my MP Report this week.

Do you bank with a credit union? Soon, thanks to the long arm of Ottawa, that may come to an end.

Last week, the federal agency responsible for regulating banks and other financial institutions quietly issued new regulations that will damage the thousands of credit unions and caisses populaires that operate across our country.

The regulations issue a blanket prohibition on the use of terms like bank, banker, and banking by basically any entity other than the big banks. Credit unions, who have traditionally been allowed to use common terms like “bank with us” or “online banking," will no longer be allowed to do so.

And why the sudden change?

No explanation has been forthcoming. This has left credit unions and their customers confused as to why they would want to change a decades-old practice.

The result of these changes will be increased costs for credit unions, which will have to pay for changes to signage and other marketing. Moreover, it will put them at a further competitive disadvantage when compared to the big banks.

Over the past several months, credit unions and parliamentarians have reached out to the regulator and to the finance minister to strongly oppose these changes.

In fact, at an All-Party Credit Union Caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, MPs and senators from all parties agreed that these changes were unnecessary and harmful.

Unfortunately, their views seem to have fallen on deaf Liberal ears.

There are over 300 credit unions nationwide that serve over 5.5 million members. Credit unions provide a community-focused approach to finances and are regularly recognized as leaders in customer service.

Instead of making business harder for these important institutions, we should be looking for ways to help ensure that credit unions can thrive and prosper in our communities.

It is not too late for the finance minister to step in and change these regulations. I call on him to do the right thing.

What can you do?

Contact your local Liberal MP and tell them you value banking with your credit union and to stop this regulatory attack against credit unions and caisses populaires.

My question for you this week is:

  • do you agree with this decision to restrict credit unions from being able to use words like bank, banker, and banking?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

MP Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of five members of Parliament with a 100 per cent voting attendance record. 

Locally in British Columbia, MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending members of Parliament, on office and administration related costs, despite operating two offices to better serve local constituent.

MP Dan Albas is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

In October 2015, MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. Dan is currently the shadow minister for small business and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern.  

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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