Victoria Financial information: Credit Unions Are A Banking Alternatives
(NC)-While many credit unions offer services and products comparable to banks, you might not be familiar with them. Below are answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
What type of services does a credit union provide?
Credit unions offer services similar to banks, such as chequing and savings accounts, term deposits and Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSP). Many credit unions also arrange mutual funds, mortgages and make personal, agricultural and commercial loans. Credit card, direct debit and ATM services are typically available, but only some companies offer telephone or Internet banking services.
How does a credit union differ from a bank?
A credit union is a provincially regulated, member-owned financial institution. Unlike other types of financial institutions, a credit union is democratically run by its members and its primary goal is to serve the needs of its members. Regardless of how many shares a member owns, each member is entitled to only one vote.
How do I join a credit union?
Some credit unions may have rules regarding membership. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact the credit union to find out how you can join.
Is my deposit safe?
In Ontario, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regulates credit unions and the French-language equivalent, caisses populaires, under the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994. This law contains specific standards and requirements that must be followed by all credit unions and caisses populaires in Ontario.
In addition to regulation, each member of a credit union or caisse populaire has his or her deposits insured by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). This ensures that your money is protected up to $100,000 if a credit union or caisse populaire ever goes out of business. FSCO works closely with DICO and credit union associations to ensure the stability of this system.
As an agency of the Ministry of Finance, FSCO regulates insurance, loan and trust companies, mortgage brokers, pensions, and co-operatives, as well as credit unions and caisses populaires - and is therefore a dependable source of information about each one.
For more information on credit unions, including a list of registered credit unions and caisses populaires in Ontario, visit FSCO's website at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.