We are very pleased that members of both Austin and Portage approved the amalgamation of their credit unions. Now the hard work of bringing our organizations together begins.

We do not expect there will be any disruptions for you at all as we move through this process, but we will direct members to pages on this site when we have information to communicate that is related to the amalgamation.

For those of you looking for the latest news, here is the press release we issued following the positive vote at the Portage CU meeting June 9. Below that, we lay out our case for amalgamation.

Members approve proposal to amalgamate Austin and Portage credit unions

June 9, 2016 (Portage la Prairie MB) — At special membership meetings held last night in Austin and tonight in Portage la Prairie, members of Austin and Portage credit unions voted overwhelmingly in favour of a proposal to amalgamate the two credit unions.

“Our board and management groups put together a proposal that we believed would benefit our members, employees, and communities — and with these votes, members validated that belief,” said Portage CEO Dave Omichinski.

“These votes show the credit union system in action, where the co-operative principle of ‘democratic member control’ gives member-owners the final say on initiatives of this magnitude,” said Portage board chair Winnie Pauch. “Tonight we’re happy for our members, because this was the right decision for both our organizations.”

This decision follows a trend here and across the country, said Austin board president Mike Vercaigne. “Credit unions large and small are increasingly seeing amalgamations as a way to respond to the rapid and highly competitive changes in our industry.”

The amalgamation creates a new credit union with $525 million in assets, 17,500 members, and branches in Austin, Gladstone, MacGregor, Plumas, Oakville and Portage la Prairie.

”The management groups, boards, and employees of both credit unions are pleased with the results and very excited to get down to the work of gearing up to have everything in place for when the amalgamation comes into effect,” said Austin Credit Union CEO Brent Budz.

The amalgamation will take effect January 1, 2017, subject to regulatory approval.

Media inquiries:

Austin Credit Union Brent Budz, CEO  (204) 385-6171
Portage Credit Union Dave Omichinski, CEO (204) 856-2704

 

Background

Today, joining forces through an amalgamation is the best strategy to respond to the realities of today’s financial services industry. And as amalgamation partners go, we could not be better suited: we share the same values in terms of how we treat our members and our employees, and how we view our commitment to the communities in which we operate.

 

The Case for Amalgamation

The financial services industry is changing rapidly. For us, the impact on three areas in particular is driving this proposal.

Legislative & industry compliance requirements that are increasingly complex and numerous. Having a larger workforce will allow our staff to become more specialized. Their expertise and knowledge would benefit all facets of the larger organization, including compliance.

The cost of technology. Amalgamating will allow us to be more responsive to members’ needs as technology drives change in our industry. Sharing technology will significantly benefit our current organizations and members.

Our low interest rate environment and increased competition. Coming together will provide cost savings. Economies achieved through this amalgamation would lessen the pressure on our financial margin and help us remain competitive.

To members of Austin Credit Union and Portage Credit Union

You and your fellow Members will…

  • be owners of a single, stronger credit union that adheres to the current organizations’ values, commitment to members, and the communities they serve.
  • have access to more branches and have new and innovative products available sooner and more effectively.
  • benefit from a higher level of expertise in areas specific to your needs.
  • benefit from cost savings passed on through continued competitive pricing and excellent deposit and lending rates.
  • continue to to receive excellent service from the same friendly faces and have local management and decision making.

Our Employees will…

  • be guaranteed no job losses or reductions in salary.
  • continue to receive excellent benefits.
  • have access to enhanced training and support and career opportunities in the new organization.

Your Community will…

  • be partners with a leading and vibrant credit union.
  • receive the same or higher levels of financial support for community initiatives.
  • not lose its branch as a result of this amalgamation, although we expect the two downtown Portage branches will eventually merge into one.

Our New Credit Union will…

  • be in a stronger position within a fast changing financial services industry.
  • be able to compete more effectively with other providers of financial services.