connectFirst and Servus Credit Unions have approved the proposed merger of their credit unions, following a pair of votes which took place during respective Special General Meetings of both organizations.

The results of the votes were announced via press release, Nov. 10, through which 85 per cent of connectFirst members, and 84 per cent of Servus members who cast votes were noted to have voted in favour of the merge. 

“At this point, we are nearing the finish line of the merger. The process has taken place over the last several months, during which time we had an intense due diligence phase whereby the board of directors of connectFirst and Servus Credit Unions really did a deep dive into each other’s organizations to better understand the benefits of this merger,” said Kate Bowering, brand and reputation lead with connectFirst Credit Union. “After that intense due diligence phase, both boards agreed that the intent to merge is in the best interest of all their respective members.”

Between the two organizations, connectFirst and Servus are comprised of more than 3,000 employees, and serve approximately 500,000 members across 80 Alberta communities. Such locations include Strathmore, Hussar and Langdon.

Bowering explained at both the local and broader scale of the merge, it is not yet possible to explicitly state how changes will take shape for members and clients of services.

“In terms of getting specific about enhanced member benefits, it’s not really something that we can anticipate right now until we get into the nitty gritty (details) to better understand the offerings of both organizations,” she said. “Member impacts will be very minimal over the course of the first few months. Again, while we better understand what needs to change and how it needs to change.”

Subject to regulatory approval, the merger will reportedly enable the credit unions to operate at the scale necessary to invest in new technologies, while preserving the professional culture which has encouraged the cultivation of the current client base. 

There is no current timeline established regarding exactly when the merge will take place, according to Bowering, due to the complexity of the regulatory approval process. 

During the transition process, she added clients can be confident that no interruptions to their banking services or anomalies in their accounts will take place and they may continue to engage with their local branches as normal.

“We are really excited about the opportunities to be able to have an even bigger impact in the communities that we serve based on the fact that we will have more resources as a larger organization, while still being able to maintain … those small town, those credit union values,” said Bowering.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 29, 2023 at 15:07

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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