Vanguard and Catalyst Credit Unions Plan to Create Even More for their Members

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Following a period of successful negotiations and due diligence, Vanguard and Catalyst Credit Unions are pleased to announce that they will be asking their members to vote, on November 21, on a proposal to amalgamate their operations. If successful, the amalgamation would come into effect April 1, 2018.

The proposal is in response to the pace and magnitude of change occurring in the financial services industry.

The scale of the amalgamated credit union would make it better positioned to compete with the banks and new, primarily digital, competitors.

“Credit unions aren’t immune to the realities of the environment in which all financial institutions operate,” said Guy Huberdeau, Chair of the Vanguard Credit Union Board of Directors. “Change is being driven by technology, the economy, regulation and competition — and we need to change to continue to meet the evolving needs of our members.”

The amalgamated credit union would have 29,000 members, assets under administration of over $1-billion, 180 employees, and 18 branches serving 40 communities throughout Western Manitoba from Brandon to Winnipegosis. It would also comprise other assets, including one real estate, two wealth management, and five insurance operations.

“The business case for this amalgamation shows that there will be growth on the top line and improvements in many areas that will have a positive effect on the bottom line,” said Catalyst Chair Richard Dereniwski. “Simply stated, the sum of our parts will be better than each of us on our own.”

Vanguard CEO Ian Gerrard says both credit unions are “doing great today,” but that this proposal is about sustainability and positioning the organization for the future.

“If approved by members, their credit union would have deeper expertise in the areas of agriculture, wealth management and technology,” he says. “There would also be major advantages to working together as it relates to our complex regulatory environment.”

Catalyst CEO Ron Hedley is particularly pleased that this would be a partnership of equals.

“Merging at this time allows us to pick the partner that we want to merge with, rather than potentially being forced to merge with an organization down the line in what would essentially be a takeover. This allows us to maintain important aspects of our culture and identity, and remain closer to the roots of our communities.”