Co-operatives mean better business

A co-operative is an association of people who voluntarily unite to meet their common economic, social or cultural needs. Co-operatives, or co-ops, exist in a wide range of categories including agriculture, insurance and even sporting goods (Mountain Equipment Co-op). The first cooperative financial institution in Canada was started by Alphonse Desjardins in Quebec in 1900. Co-operative banks, also called credit unions or caisse populairs (peoples banks), began because the large traditional banks would not service people in remote rural areas. The people of these communities pooled their money and created their own banks to assist each other with loans and savings. Today more than one third of Canadians belong to at least one credit union.

Credit Unions bring fairness to banking

As a co-operative financial institution, Your Credit Union is owned and democratically directed by our members.  Unlike traditional banks we are not driven to make ever-increasing profits. We exist solely to meet the financial needs of our member-owners. It is, quite simply, a fairer method of banking that ensures that the needs of our member-owners are always placed above profit.

A history of helping

Your Credit Union has been helping our member-owners meet their financial objectives since 1950. We began as a financial co-operative for the teachers of Ottawa-Carleton and evolved to encompasses members from the Ottawa Citizen, the City of Ottawa and OC Transpo among others. In 2009 Your Credit Union became an “open bond” institution, which meant membership was open to everyone. Since that time we have welcomed a host of new member-owners who respect and appreciate the equity and intelligence of co-operative banking.

A history of responsibility

Your Credit Union is proud to choose 100% green electricity and 100% green natural gas with Bullfrog Power for all of its branches in the Ottawa and Cornwall area.

This means that Bullfrog's generators put 100% green electricity and 100% green natural gas onto the grid and pipeline to match the amount of conventional power and natural gas our organization uses.

Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities. Bullfrog’s green natural gas is sourced from a unique methane-capture project situated on one of Canada’s landfill sites.

By choosing green energy, we are reducing our organization’s environmental impact, supporting the development of new community-based renewable energy projects in our region and across Canada, and helping lead the way to a renewably powered future.

BullFrog Power

A history of financial firsts

Traditional banks like to paint themselves as the innovators in the financial services industry but that is not always the case. Credit Unions have always been driven by the needs of their member-owners, not by a desire for profit.  This has often lead credit unions to introduce new services for their member-owners before they were offered by traditional banks. Some of these firsts include:

First loans based on the borrower’s character rather than just a credit score
First financial institutions to lend to women in their own names
First payroll deduction service for deposits and loan payments.
First open mortgages.
First to offer daily interest savings.
First full-service ATM network.
First home equity lines of credit.
First debit card service.
First registered education plans.
First fully functional internet banking.
First branchless bank (Citizens Bank).
First cheque imaging service.

Credit Unions are better on principle

The co-operative model exits in a variety of categories including housing, insurance and agriculture to name but a few. In all cases, these co-operatives adhere to the principles of the international co-operative  movement as does Your Credit Union. These are the principles that guide our actions everyday:

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.

3. Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes:  developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.

5. Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.


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