Amalgamation Updates

Members vote YEST to merger

A message from Kerry Hadad, CEO Expand/Collapse

January 27, 2016

I'm thrilled to share good news! The Community First Credit Union membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging with YNCU at the recent Special General Meeting, mirroring the results of the YNCU vote at their meeting on January 26.

This tells us that the members of our credit unions are engaged and solidly in favour of this partnership; they recognize as well as we do the benefits of our two great organizations becoming one. The support we have received from staff on both sides is particularly heartening. They see the potential, and know we are building a better organization for our members and for the future.

We have now cleared all the regulatory and approval hurdles and will become a new Your Neighbourhood Credit Union effective April 1st. In southwestern Ontario, we will still be YNCU, and CFCU will become Community First, a division of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union. This model is the first of its kind in Ontario and represents a true partnership between the two organizations.

The new YNCU will maintain corporate offices in Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie. The combined organization will become the 6th largest credit union in Ontario, serving approximately 58,000 members through 21 branches and overseeing approximately $1.5 billion in assets. The closing date for the amalgamation is scheduled for April 1, 2016.

While we will become a new legal entity, rest assured that nothing has changed today, and nothing will radically change on April 1st. Change is a process that will happen over time and with the input of all staff. Our promise is that communication will be a top priority.  There are many decisions to be made as we learn each other's strengths and become not just bigger, but better.

I look forward to that journey and to hearing from you about your experience in our new, bigger and better neighbourhood.

I welcome your comments or questions.  Talk to Kerry at talktokerry@yncu.com

Results of YNCU Special General Meeting Expand/Collapse

Update:  January 13, 2016

On January 12th, 96% of YNCU Class B Shareholders voted in favour of the resolution to merge with Community First Credit Union while the general membership voted unanimously in favour of the merger.

The final step is the Special General Meeting at Community First on Monday, January 25th. If CFCU's membership and Investment Shareholders both approve the special resolution, we will become a new Your Neighbourhood Credit Union effective April 1st.

Key Benefits Expand/Collapse

More competitive

The amalgamation will allow us to forge a stronger organization that will remain financially strong and be more competitive in all products and services we offer, and in all the communities where we operate.

Added convenience

Our members expect their banking experience to be as convenient as possible.  That convenience is reliant on ever-changing technology, and technology is expensive to develop and implement.  The amalgamation will give the combined organization the economies of scale necessary to be more competitive in technological advancements which will improve our members’ banking experience.  We’ll be able to deliver better services faster.

Increased accessibility

The amalgamation will allow us to increase our footprint in the Ontario marketplace, while expanding the positive effect of our inclusive philosophies.

Our research shows that our members are already mobile between our two geographic areas. Merging makes sense for a growing number of workers and students.

Broaden community impact

While both credit unions currently do a great deal for our respective communities, this amalgamation will allow us to combine our resources and expertise and, through local decision-making, deepen the impact we have on the communities in which our members live and work.

Ensure sustainability

The world of finance, banking and member expectations are changing at an increased pace.  New innovative solutions are making their way onto the global platform daily and the pressure to provide an increased level of service and choice is paramount.  The amalgamation will give us a stronger base from which to build an organization that is sustainable for the long-term.

Employee benefits

While both organizations have skilled and experienced management teams, the amalgamated credit union will result in a team with greater depth and breadth to support strategic growth, staff development, succession and contingency planning, member service and community outreach.

 

Member FAQs

As a member and an owner of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU), you have the right to vote on the proposed amalgamation with Community First Credit Union (CFCU). To assist you in understanding more about the proposed merger, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions for you to become familiar with before the Special General Meeting planned for January 12, 2016.  We encourage you to carefully review all of this information, and if you have additional questions or comments, please contact your branch or the CEO at TalktoKerry@yncu.com.

This is a very exciting time at Your Neighbourhood Credit Union, and we want you to be part of it. Please plan on attending the Special General Meeting planned for Tuesday January 12, 2016, at the Holiday Inn, Kitchener, 30 Fairway Road South, Kitchener, starting at 7:00 p.m.  Registration begins at 6:15 p.m.

Who is Your Neighbourhood Credit Union merging with? Expand/Collapse

The Boards of Directors of Community First Credit Union and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union have resolved to combine the two organizations into one, through legal amalgamation, in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the Letter of Intent dated October 16, 2015.

 

Who is Community First Credit Union? Expand/Collapse

Community First Credit Union was formed in December 1948 when 20 people came together to provide financial opportunity to their community of fellow steel workers. More than half a century has passed since this visionary group built the company’s foundation on guiding principles. These principles established the organization’s culture and propelled Community First Credit Union into the forward-thinking, full-service credit union it is today.

As the vision and membership base expanded, a need to change the organization’s name occurred.  From serving Algoma Steel workers and their families as the Algoma Steel Workers’ Credit Union in 1948; to serving the entire Algoma district as ASCU Community Credit Union in 1981; to serving the Province of Ontario as Community First Credit Union in 2005; to merging with Timmins Regional Credit Union and serving the Province of Ontario as Community First Credit Union Limited in 2006.

Community First Credit Union is deeply rooted in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins and currently represents approximately 14,000 members, across 3 strategically located branches and offers a full range of products and services.  With over $480 million in assets and 77 staff and management employees, Community First Credit Union continues to aspire to be a leader in delivering financial solutions focused on providing members and communities with opportunities for financial success.

For more information on Community First Credit Union please visit www.communityfirst-cu.com

Why has Your Neighbourhood entered into an agreement to amalgamate with Community First Credit Union? Expand/Collapse

There is so much that aligns between our respective organizations and communities that makes this agreement a natural step. We share the principles of building relationships with members that enrich their lives and their communities. Working together as equals in pursuit of greater achievements is the expected result of this partnership.

As partners, our goals are to:

  • Provide flexible and innovative products and services to our members;
  • Enhance career opportunities for our staff; and
  • Increase awareness and engagement within our communities.

What will be the size of the combined entity? Expand/Collapse

Once merged, the new Your Neighbourhood Credit Union will:

  • Be the 6th largest credit union in Ontario
  • Be the largest credit union in Northern Ontario
  • Offer 21 locations across Ontario
  • Employ 246 people
  • Serve approximately 58,000 Members
  • Hold approximately $1.5 billion in assets under administration

Will branches be closed as a result of the amalgamation? Expand/Collapse

There will be no branch closures as a result of the merger. In fact, members of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union will be gaining 3 strategically located branches in northern Ontario (two in Sault Ste. Marie and one in Timmins).  Each branch will continue to represent the members and communities they currently represent, but now members will have additional access to branch and ATM locations wherever they live, work or go to school. 

 

What will happen to my local branch staff? Expand/Collapse

There will be no job loss as a direct result of the merger.  In fact, as part of a larger organization our employees will have opportunities to further grow and develop.  We want our members to continue to benefit from the same friendly banking and smart advice they have become accustomed to.

 

How will this amalgamation benefit members? Expand/Collapse

Community First and YNCU’s values are rooted in treating members and employees with integrity and respect. We are committed to providing exceptional member service, while maintaining the safety and security of our members’ assets and information. The credit union believes in operating from a position of financial strength and discipline, in order to achieve controlled growth and sustained profitability for the benefit of our members.

Key amalgamation benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Similar core values and beliefs
  • Support of the cooperative movement; ability to build our collective profile and impact
  • Strengthened long-term viability and success
  • Opportunity for geographic expansion
  • More products, services and branches to better serve member needs
  • Ability to compete with larger financial institutions while maintaining local presence

Will the Credit Union’s name change? Expand/Collapse

Understanding the uniqueness of the communities we serve as a combined organization, it is important to us to maintain our individual identities.  The new credit union will continue to operate as Your Neighbourhood Credit Union Limited (operating credit union) and Community First (a division of Your Neighbourhood), representing more than just an amalgamation but a true partnership, combining the strengths of both brands to create one united organization.

 

Who will be the CEO of the newly amalgamated Credit Union? Expand/Collapse

Your Neighbourhood Credit Union and Community First (a division of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union) will continue to be led by the existing Your Neighbourhood CEO, Kerry Hadad.  Kerry is a highly energetic, passionate and committed leader with reputable business acumen.  With solid roots in the Credit Union system and a strategic vision to continue the successful growth of the co-operative movement, Kerry is focused on providing exceptional member experiences, financial stability and profitability.  Kerry believes in giving back through various community initiatives and organizations.

Community First’s President and CEO, Brent Lamming, will assume the role of Senior Vice President, Strategy, of the amalgamated organization, and President of the Community First division.

 

Why did you choose to merge with Community First Credit Union? Expand/Collapse

YNCU Board and Senior Management have a great deal of respect for Community First Credit Union.  They have a strong balance sheet and have developed a market presence within their communities that we will be able to build on together.  Their management and staff are very professional and they are located in a market area that is poised for growth and expansion.

 

What about other mergers or expansions? Expand/Collapse

We remain committed to seeking out like-minded organizations that will help us to grow and provide even better service to even more Ontarians. It is not our plan to get larger simply for the sake of being big. Our goal is to be the best in any region where we do business, while remaining true to our credit union histories and philosophies. The merged credit union will not be “bank-like”, but simply a larger, better-run, still member-focused credit union.

 

What happens to the Board of Directors after the merger? Expand/Collapse

The newly merged Credit Union will have its own Board, consisting of six of the existing Community First Credit Union members, and seven members of the Your Neighbourhood Credit Union Board of Directors.  As terms expire, individual directors may choose to run again for the Credit Union Board, just as any Credit Union member is entitled to run today.

 

How will the needs of members be represented? Expand/Collapse

Both Credit Unions are committed to quality member service and believe in local decision-making.  The bylaws of the new credit union will provide for representation from all geographic regions it represents.  The voices of all credit union members will be heard before, during and after this proposed amalgamation.

 

When will the amalgamation take place? Expand/Collapse

Membership meetings of both credit unions will be held, in accordance with the required legislation, to provide an opportunity for members to vote in support of the amalgamation. Now that we have the required approvals from our regulators, the YNCU membership meeting will be held January 12, 2016, and the CFCU meeting will be held January 25, 2016.  If approved by both memberships, the amalgamation will take effect on April 1, 2016.

 

How do I provide my support for the amalgamation? Expand/Collapse

There are two groups of YNCU shareholders:

  1. all YNCU Members who hold membership shares, and
  2. Class B Investment Shareholders.

For the proposed merger to pass, each group of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union shareholders must approve the amalgamation resolution at the Special General Meeting (SGM) by at least two-thirds of those casting votes.

Thirty (30) members must attend, in person, to achieve quorum. There are no proxies allowed for membership shares.

At least two (2) Class B Investment Shareholders must attend, in person, representing at least 20% of shares outstanding, to achieve quorum. Proxies are allowed for Class B Investment Shares.

Members who hold Class B Investment Shares will receive a package in the mail. This will include information about additional voting privileges and a Form of Proxy.  Class B Investment Shareholders who are unable to attend the Special General Meeting may cast their vote by way of proxy.  The completed Form of Proxy must be returned by 5:00 p.m. on Monday January 11, 2016.

For members who are Corporations, Associations and Partnerships:

Pursuant to section 35 of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994, corporations, unincorporated associations, or partnerships registered under the Business Names Act or a predecessor thereof, shall vote by proxy.  The delegate must provide at registration a letter duly executed by the signing authorities of the corporation, unincorporated association or partnership, stating that the delegate has been appointed by the authorized officers to vote by proxy on any matter at the membership meeting.

 

What happens to the member shares I currently have at Your Neighbourhood Credit Union? What about my investment shares? Expand/Collapse

Very little will change.  The share requirement for each member aged 18 years and older will be one (1) share at $5.00 each, to reflect the current share price of Community First Credit Union. This means each YNCU shareholder with a $10.00 share will be refunded $5.00.

If you are a holder of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union Class B Investment Shares, this investment continues and all commitments will be honoured.

 

  • Merger FAQs (PDF - 470.18 KB)

    We've compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about our planned merger with Community First Credit Union.
 

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