Collaboration MB

Letter to Members

Not since our founding members created our organizations have we been at such an important moment in our history. We have the opportunity, right now, to create a unique and sustainable financial co-operative in Manitoba and to do it in the way we know best – cooperatively.  
 
Like the Assiniboine River, imagine a credit union network that flows and connects across the province. This new organization is more prosperous and has greater strength and ability to provide members with better products and services, support employees with more career and development opportunities and invest in community organizations and events.
 
Imagine all the good work your credit union/caisse has already done – helping your child get their first bank account, providing loans to farmers to build their family farm, helping a small business make that next big leap, sponsoring the local hockey tournament that is the highlight of your small town’s winter season, giving newcomers their mortgage for their first home in Canada. Now imagine doing even more of that.
 
Imagine one of our founding languages, French, now being used in a larger organization reaching more people. That is just part of what is possible when we become a uniquely Manitoban financial co-operative.
 
You are one of 216,000 co-owners of the two credit unions and caisse. And as a co-operative member, you decide where we go next. The future of our organizations is in your good hands.
 
As your elected Boards of Directors and Executive Teams, we want you to know that we have done our homework and due diligence and have been listening to you. Through this process we are confident a merger of Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group, and Westoba Credit Union is in the best interest of you, our members. It isn’t just a good idea; it is a merger that drives prosperity and is filled with possibilities. We are asking you to support this merger for the future of our members, employees, and communities. Vote YES and OUI. It’s imperative.
 
To learn more, please read on. If you have any additional questions, please know we are available.

Crystal Laborero

Board Chair
Assiniboine Credit Union

Réal Déquier

Board President
Caisse Financial Group

Garnet McBurney

Board Chair
Westoba Credit Union

Kevin Sitka

President & CEO
Assiniboine Credit Union

Joël Rondeau

CEO
Caisse Financial Group

Jim Rediger

President & CEO
Westoba Credit Union

We are doing what we always do best, working cooperatively in this merger. It’s who we are.

How Did We Get Here?

Each of our founding members had the same dream.  
 
They imagined what would be possible if individuals came together and created a way to lend each other money at fair rates when banks would not. Some were farmers, labourers, and electrical workers who experienced the financial hardships of the Great Depression or World War II.
 
They shared the same challenges with banks and understood the possibilities of the co-operative movement. They made a pact with their co-workers, neighbours, and families to grow and be better together – to make life better for their workplace, families, and communities.

Organizations at a Glance

Assiniboine
Caisse
Westoba
Founded in
1943
1937
1963
Founded in
Winnipeg
St. Malo
Brandon
Headquarters
Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Brandon
Number of members
140,000
35,000
41,000
Number of employees
500
248
222
Number of branches
18
19
13
Assets
$6 billion
$2 billion
$1.6 billion
Lines of business
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management, Agriculture
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management, Agriculture
Assiniboine
Caisse
Westoba
Founded in
1943
Winnipeg
1937
St. Malo
1963
Brandon
Headquarters
Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Brandon
Number of members
140,000
35,000
41,000
Number of employees
500
248
222
Number of branches
18
19
13
Assets
$6 billion
$2 billion
$1.6 billion
Lines of business
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management, Agriculture
Personal, Commercial,
Wealth Management, Agriculture

Growing the Dream

We’d like to think our founding members would be proud of you, our members today, for what you’ve done to take their dream and grow it at Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group and Westoba Credit Union. Thank you.

Our founding members would never have imagined we’d be paying for a coffee with the tap of a watch. 

The Reality of Emerging Trends

We have been carefully watching and planning for emerging trends in the financial industry, which our founders could never have imagined 80 years ago. 
  
The banking landscape is changing quickly and dramatically around us. It’s imperative that we pay attention and respond to:

In the face of change, challenge and opportunity, collaboration is our response.


By leveraging our strengths and our values, and by working together, we believe we can create something great for our province. We want to build an organization with a steadfast commitment to our members, employees, and community.

Merger Phases

We are currently in the RECOMMENDATION phase

Here are the primary phases of the proposed partnership between Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group, and Westoba Credit Union.

Throughout the whole process, we will continue to have open and deep conversations with members, employees, and our communities.

Phase Complete

Exploration

  • Late 2023 – The Boards of Directors of all three financial co-operatives began discussions.
  • November 29, 2023 – We announced we were starting to explore the opportunity to bring our organizations together.
  • Mid-December 2023 to Spring 2024 – A deep and thorough due diligence process began. We were transparent with each other and took a close look at each other’s financial, operational, and legal status, including details about assets, liabilities, and risks. We hosted in-person and virtual open houses for members in communities across the province, gathered input through surveys, had ongoing conversations with employees, and answered questions from members and our communities.

This process set the stage for writing a business case that was presented to the Boards of Directors, which they approved.

Phase Complete

Recommendation

The Boards of Directors of all three organizations have now recommended to our members that we merge based on consultations with our regulators, employees, members, and communities, due diligence, and the proposed business case.

Phase Complete

Merger Vote & Results

Members of all three organizations will have an opportunity to vote on the partnership. Your participation is imperative! Results will be announced once votes are counted.

Phase Complete

Regulatory Approvals

If the vote is in favour of the merger, we’ll complete our formal application for approval to the Manitoba regulator, and the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Phase Complete

Merger

Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group, and Westoba Credit Union are expected to unite as a newly formed legal entity and begin to implement plans to integrate operationally effective January 1, 2025.

Our Commitments

The value proposition of the merged credit union includes its quality of service,
competitive positioning, convenient solutions, commitment to urban, rural, agricultural, and Francophone communities, French language services, and a values-based approach to banking, which includes continuing B Corp certification.
 
The new entity will leverage the power of its balance sheet to make investments on behalf of its members that diversify revenue, reduce risk, and enhance organizational sustainability.

Commitment to
French
Services

We’re excited about the unique opportunity to serve both English and French-speaking communities across Manitoba. With a nod to our rural roots and the rich history of Caisses populaires, we recognize the deep connection these institutions have in shaping our new corporate identity. We also understand the vital role the Francophone community plays in the vibrant tapestry of Manitoba and Canada. We’re dedicated to ensuring our Francophone members have continued access to services in French, whether in person in designated areas or through digital channels.

Commitment to
Rural & Agricultural Roots

The merged organization would be positioned to provide greater support to rural communities currently represented by Westoba Credit Union in western Manitoba and Caisse Financial Group in south-central Manitoba. The scale of this new entity would allow the merged credit union to provide rural members with wider geographical coverage, a large suite of products, larger scale of funding for large agricultural businesses, and the ability to provide better service through employees with broader and more specialized skills.

Commitment to
Values-Based Banking

As a merged organization, we are committed to continuing to work together and partner with others for mutual benefit and the common good, dedicated to the International Co-operative Principles and the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. We believe a merged credit union will have even greater capacity to create shared value for employees, members, and communities.

Commitment to
French
Services

We’re excited about the unique opportunity to serve both English and French-speaking communities across Manitoba. With a nod to our rural roots and the rich history of Caisses populaires, we recognize the deep connection these institutions have in shaping our new corporate identity. We also understand the vital role the Francophone community plays in the vibrant tapestry of Manitoba and Canada. We’re dedicated to ensuring our Francophone members have continued access to services in French, whether in person in designated areas or through digital channels.

Commitment to
Rural & Agricultural Roots

The merged organization would be positioned to provide greater support to rural communities currently represented by Westoba Credit Union in western Manitoba and Caisse Financial Group in south-central Manitoba. The scale of this new entity would allow the merged credit union to provide rural members with wider geographical coverage, a large suite of products, larger scale of funding for large agricultural businesses, and the ability to provide better service through employees with broader and more specialized skills.

Commitment to
Values-Based Banking

As a merged organization, we are committed to continuing to work together and partner with others for mutual benefit and the common good, dedicated to the International Co-operative Principles and the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. We believe a merged credit union will have even greater capacity to create shared value for employees, members, and communities.

Commitment to
French
Services

We’re excited about the unique opportunity to serve both English and French-speaking communities across Manitoba. With a nod to our rural roots and the rich history of Caisses populaires, we recognize the deep connection these institutions have in shaping our new corporate identity. We also understand the vital role the Francophone community plays in the vibrant tapestry of Manitoba and Canada. We’re dedicated to ensuring our Francophone members have continued access to services in French, whether in person in designated areas or through digital channels.

Commitment to
Rural & Agricultural Roots

The merged organization would be positioned to provide greater support to rural communities currently represented by Westoba Credit Union in western Manitoba and Caisse Financial Group in south-central Manitoba. The scale of this new entity would allow the merged credit union to provide rural members with wider geographical coverage, a large suite of products, larger scale of funding for large agricultural businesses, and the ability to provide better service through employees with broader and more specialized skills.

Commitment to
Values-Based Banking

As a merged organization, we are committed to continuing to work together and partner with others for mutual benefit and the common good, dedicated to the International Co-operative Principles and the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. We believe a merged credit union will have even greater capacity to create shared value for employees, members, and communities.

FAQs

Have questions? Check out our list of FAQs

Join us for merger updates!

Open Houses

Our boards are recommending our members vote ‘’Yes and Oui’’ to a uniquely Manitoban merger. You’re invited to attend our second round of Open Houses to learn more about the potential merger between Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group and Westoba Credit Union.

Upcoming Virtual Open Houses

Assiniboine Credit Union

When: Wednesday, May 22, 7:00 PM
Where: Virtually-hosted

Caisse Financial Group

French Open House
When: Wednesday, May 15, 7:00 PM
Where: Zoom

English Open House
When: Thursday, May 16, 7:00 PM
Where: Zoom

Westoba Credit Union

When: Thursday, May 16, 6:30 PM
Where: Microsoft Teams

Past Open Houses

Contact Us

CollaborationMB@acu.ca
CollaborationMB@caisse.biz
CollaborationMB@westoba.com
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