Bank & federal credit union harmonization

The experiment called “federal credit union” hasn’t even begun yet and already efforts are underway to diminish the differences between banks and federal credit unions.

The federal Department of Finance released a consultation paper today in which they revealed that “some stakeholders have requested the harmonization of bank and federal credit union eligibility requirements” (page 27), to impose a greater barrier to members who want to submit a proposal for a (special) resolution. The Board of Coast Capital Savings has been advocating a similar thing provincially, trying to increase the signature requirement for a special resolution from 300 to over 5300 (see page 3 of my report)…an impossible number given that there is no established mechanism for members to communicate with one another.

Section 254.1 of the Bank Act gives members access to the member list of a federal credit union, which is not something available to provincial credit union members. Not surprisingly, the consultation paper says that certain “stakeholders” want to limit access to the member list.

In any case, giving members access to a list of physical mailing addresses is very 20th-century. The failed democracy at Coast Capital Savings demonstrates that new ideas are needed.


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