Our Merger with WFCU

Updates

A Letter from Eddie Francis, President & CEO, WFCU Credit Union

Dear Members,

It is with great excitement and shared optimism that WFCU Credit Union has entered into a letter of an intent to join with Education Credit Union.

Both credit unions are rooted in a rich history of service to our members and believe in giving back to the communities that we serve.  Selecting a credit union partner, that is driven by the same principles and with whom you feel your own credit union can thrive with is no easy task – it is one which both WFCU and ECU have resolved after many months in the search for a real and purposeful partner. The joining of both organizations will support and encourage ECU’s desire to expand and improve their product and service offerings for the benefit of their members, staff, and the communities they serve, while maintaining their rich history, identity and commitment to the Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge community.

We are honoured to have been selected as a partner for ECU.

Like ECU, we are built on the cooperative values, where the financial well-being of our members and community are central to everything we do; and for the past 80 years we have expanded our services to our members and their communities. We are excited about the opportunity to join with ECU, recognizing together we will be able to grow stronger, bringing our members a wider range of market-leading banking options that will allow them to meet, reach and exceed their financial goals.

We are committed to being the partner ECU is seeking, and to grow with ECU, to help them continue to fulfil their mission of service to their members, employees and community by providing immediate access to:

  • New and advanced technology capabilities which included a full suite of digital products and e-banking solutions;
  • New and expanded service divisions and competitive products including AUTO Finance & Leasing Services, Broker Services, Insurance Services, Municipal Services, Card & Payment Services, Small Business & Commercial Services, and Wealth Management Services through Avanti Wealth;
  • Innovative products like our Mortgage Plus that offers low rates and same day approvals; easy and hassle free Xpressloan; and our EVA chequing account, which provides unlimited banking, extended warranty, price protection, buyer protection, unlimited banking, and our Perks Plus rewards program;
  • A Member Contact Centre which provides live telephone banking services during regular and extended service hours;
  • New and increased branch network for members to access services across the Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge community;
  • Enhanced employee benefits and career offerings; and
  • Inspire – our community engagement program which has invested $17.8 M back into the communities we serve over the past five years providing engaging, entertaining, educational and scholarships opportunities for the community to come together.

Our shared vision and motivated desire excites us about the opportunity to come together to strengthen both of our credit union’s cooperative positions, but equally important is that our shared partnership is one in which ECU’s identity and remarkable history of serving the needs of their members and community is preserved and celebrated while providing us an immediate opportunity to provide better value, better service, and better positions us to do more for our members, staff and the communities we serve.

Please, take some time to learn more about WFCU by visiting our website at www.wfcu.ca, and if you have any questions about our credit union or the proposal to join please reach out to me directly at efrancis@wfcu.ca and I would be happy to address any questions you may have.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to consider the proposed intent to join and hope that you, like your ECU Board, will see WFCU as a partner you can put your trust in.

Sincerely,

Eddie Francis
President & CEO
WFCU Credit Union

A letter from Gary Renouf, President & CEO, Education Credit Union

Education Credit Union (ECU) is excited to announce to you that we have signed a Letter of Intent to join our operations with WFCU Credit Union (WFCU) for the benefit of our members and employees; and to further strengthen our financial and cooperative position.

At our last strategic planning meeting, the ECU Board and Management team recognized our need to partner with an organization who could help us expand and improve our product and service offerings in order for us to remain current and competitive in the changing marketing of digital and online banking.

After a lengthy search and many discussions, we have decided that WFCU is the partner we believe can enhance and improve all aspects of our business and help us continue to fulfill our mission of service to our members.

Like ECU’s long history of supporting employees of the education system, WFCU has a proven track record of supporting not only employees of the automotive industry but employees and owners alike in a multitude of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, professional, institutional, non-profit, small business, healthcare, education and more. 

The commonality of our two credit unions is our culture and desire to put our members and communities first.  To do this we know that our credit union must ensure advancing technology, growing and diversifying our membership, expanding our product and services, and maintaining financial stability while increasing efficiencies, are priorities. 

In joining together with WFCU, we know we will be able to provide:

  • Greater product and service offerings;
  • Improved technology capabilities;
  • Increased competitiveness and expansion possibilities leading to increased profitability; and
  • Improved employee benefits and career offerings.

And we will be able to do all of this, while maintaining ECU’s identity and preserving our long and strong history of serving the needs of our members in the education sector and beyond.

It was very important to us during our search that the credit union we chose to partner with acknowledged and respected our history and were willing to have our voices heard. In that regard WFCU has assured us that our concerns will continue to be heard by changing their by-laws to accommodate, at the minimum, a regional director elected from the Waterloo region; and in addition, with regulatory approval, ECU will choose a name moving forward that will continue to reflect our history and values.

This is an exciting opportunity and an excellent strategic fit for both credit unions as it will provide additional branch locations for our members and add expanded delivery channels for all education employees, members, and their families.

Over the next several weeks we will finalize the agreement and discuss the many facets of our joint operations. We can assure you that WFCU has approached this as a partnership to benefit both organizations and that our members, like their own, are their main priority.

Following due diligence, we will be asking you, our membership, for your vote and support in favour of approving the proposed joint operations.

We thank you for your continued commitment and support of ECU. If you have any questions, we encourage you to please reach out to any of our staff members or send an email to info@ecusolutions.com.

FAQ

Who are we joining operations with?

We are joining operations with Windsor Family Credit Union Limited, known as WFCU Credit Union. WFCU Credit Union has been recognized as a leading, progressive financial institution headquartered in Windsor since 1941. Proudly serving Ontario residents, community organizations, small businesses, commercial entities and public institutions for over 80 years, WFCU Credit Union is the sixth largest credit union in Ontario, and twenty-fifth largest credit union in Canada, operating ten retail locations and one digital entity, Omnia Direct.  WFCU’s Member Contact Centre also provides live telephone banking services to Members during regular and extended service hours.  In addition to retail, telephone and digital services offering traditional deposit and loan products, WFCU has several service divisions including: Finance and Leasing Services, Broker Services, Insurance Services, Municipal Services, Card and Payments Services, Small Business and Commercial Services, and wealth management services through Avanti Wealth.  WFCU Credit Union also has a subsidiary, WFCU Real Estate Corporation, which owns significant real estate assets in southwestern Ontario, including properties in Kitchener and Waterloo.

How will members be impacted by the joint operations?

This is an exciting opportunity and an excellent strategic fit for both credit unions as it will provide additional branch locations for our members and add expanded delivery channels for all ECU employees, members, and their families. The Board and Management teams of both credit unions recognize that in order to continue to grow and provide the best products and services to our members, this merger will be a huge step forward in achieving these goals, while increasing our reach and ability to service the education sector throughout the province.

WFCU Credit Union has an open bond of membership, which includes a large base of members from various sectors, including Commercial, Small Business, Professional and MUSH that will complement our education-based membership.

Education Credit Union’s three locations will continue to operate and serve current members and continue to grow and attract even more new members from the local education community, plus be in a position to welcome new members from the community at large.

WFCU Credit Union has continued to expand its services across the province of Ontario through a well-established digital division as well as the commercial services arena.  Further expansion has been part of the WFCU Credit Union strategic plan and to become part of ECU’s well-respected branch network in the Kitchener-Waterloo region is a natural fit to provide further services to current and future members.

How will members benefit?

The primary objective in pursuing any joint operation is to enhance the service offerings to our members while ensuring they continue to benefit from the cooperative banking values we are built on.

Members will benefit from:

  • Financial stability of becoming part of one of the largest credit unions in Ontario;
  • Access to advanced technology capabilities that include a full suite of digital products and e-banking solutions;
  • Expanded service offerings, including a Member Contact Centre that provides full financial services assistance live over the phone;
  • Expanded product offerings including wealth management and insurance services, and innovative payment services;
  • An increased network for our members across the province to have access to services;
  • Access to the largest and most experienced Commercial Services team in the region; and
  • A credit union deeply dedicated to its community.

How will my account be affected?

The account benefits you currently enjoy as a member of ECU will be carried forward in our joint operations with WFCU Credit Union and initially nothing will change. Part of our due diligence is to review the product and service offerings to confirm what is best for our members and newly joined credit unions.  Both ECU and WFCU Credit Union offer a wide range of personal account products and services.  However, WFCU Credit Union offers additional products and services for small business, commercial and organizational members which ECU currently does not offer, in joining operations members will be able to access and benefit from these new account offerings.

When will joint operations begin?

ECU will become a part of WFCU Credit Union in 2020.  A more specific timeline is under development and will be shared when available.

Will we have a voice in the final decision?

Yes. Following due diligence and the completion of the transaction details, members of ECU will be asked to vote on the proposed merger.

Where can I get more information?

For more information please contact you Education Credit Union Branch or email us at info@ecusolutions.com.

Kitchener
T: 519-742-3500

Waterloo
T: 519-772-3050

Cambridge
T: 519-623-2211

About WFCU

Recognized as a leading, progressive, financial institution headquartered in Windsor and Essex County, WFCU Credit Union has been proudly serving Ontarians since 1941.

As the sixth largest credit union in Ontario, and twenty-fifth largest credit union in Canada, operating ten retail locations and a digital branch, their foundation was built on providing Ontario residents, community organizations, small businesses, commercial entities and public institutions with the highest quality and most progressive financial products and services.

What sets them apart, beyond their superior customer service, is the variety, reliability and flexibility of the additional financial products and services they offer including divisions dedicated to Municipal Services, Commercial Services and Small Business, Auto Finance & Leasing, Card Services, Insurance Services and Investment Services available through Avanti Wealth.

In addition, WFCU Credit Union also operates WFCU Real Estate Corporation, a subsidiary of WFCU Credit Union which invests in commercial real estate as a means to stimulate economic development across Ontario. Omnia Direct, their digital branch, operates exclusively online and offers residents outside of Windsor-Essex County access to the superior financial products and service their members receive in branch every day.

Through these various divisions, in combination with online and mobile banking, telephone banking, and ATM services, WFCU Credit Union offers their 47,000+ members convenient banking options to fit their lifestyle and help them achieve their financial goals and currently, has $4.852 billion in Managed Assets and Member Service Totals of $6.7 billion.

Open to anyone living or working in Ontario, WFCU Credit Union always puts their members and the community first. Over the past 5 years WFCU Credit Union has given back or invested more than $17.8 million in the community, and they make it their priority to remain market-leading in the products, services and technology they deliver to their members.

At WFCU Credit Union, you’ll never be just a number, you’re a part of their family.
    
                
For more information on WFCU Credit Union please visit their website.

Testimonials

See what our members have to say...

The merger is well thought out indeed.

Certainly containment is on everyone's mind these days with myself being no exception. Your response reminds me that looking forward is healthy as we all navigate these stormy seas.

The ECU has come far since it started with Dennis Daub in a single room in the basement of King Edward Public School where I borrowed a small sum to buy a car. Maybe I was even the first customer!

Thank you again for your response.

-Anonymous Member

I wanted to provide some brief feedback on the recent mailing and announcement regarding the proposed merger with WFCU. First, let me say that I understand completely the need to evolve. I was actually a member of the Board when UWaterloo was served by the Waterloo Faculty and Staff CU, located in GSC and later ECH. I've seen the transitions to WCECU and then ECU and appreciate the rationale in moving forward, whether to remain competitive, provide better services, and so forth. I'm also confident that management and leadership have done their due diligence and are working to everyone's best interests. Oddly enough, I am from Windsor originally (coming to K-W as a university student) and still have a lot of family in that area. I am somewhat familiar with WFCU because of some of their interactions (which as far as I know have been positive). 

-Anonymous Member

 

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