CUs make notable contributions to economy, communities, report finds

Canadian credit unions (CUs) added $6.5 billion to the country’s gross domestic product and created close to 28,000 jobs directly in 2015, according to a new report from the Toronto-based Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) released on Thursday.

The 2016 Credit Union Community and Economic Impact Report explores the various ways in which CUs have contributed to the broader Canadian economy as well as individual communities.

The study cites a separate report published in August by the Ottawa-based Conference Board of Canada, which found that CUs create 14.5 jobs in Canada for every million dollars of gross output compared with the 8.4 jobs that banks create.

The CU system also provided $24.7 million in donations and $16.5 million in sponsorships to local communities. Approximately 58,300 community organizations benefitted from receiving $8 million in financial services through reduced or waived service charges.

“Credit unions are different from other financial services institutions. Profits are invested back into the community and net income is also directed toward helping local communities through financial literacy initiatives and social finance innovation,” says Martha Durdin, president and CEO of the CCUA, in a statement. “This contribution helps communities and government invest in jobs and growth and local communities prosper.”

CUs also paid $160 million in dividends and rewards to members for using CU services and paid $149 million in taxes to local, provincial and federal governments, the CCUA report says.

The full report, which was released on “International Credit Union Day,” can be found on the CCUA’s website.

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