Merger Would Create Uniquely Manitoban Credit Union

Wider reach of French services through partnership.

MANITOBA: April 17, 2024 – Caisse Financial Group’s Board of Directors is recommending a merger with two leading credit unions in Manitoba. This would be the only purpose-driven financial co-operative in the province to carry a French and English name – Assiniboine Credit Union / Caisse Assiniboine. The Board of Directors of Caisse Financial Group recommends members and employees vote “Oui and Yes” this June.

“Over the last five months of due diligence, our merger partners have made it clear they understand the role the Francophone community plays in Manitoba’s vibrant tapestry. This is reflected in the bylaws that include the name and the composition of the Board of Directors. All three partners are dedicated to ensuring our Francophone members have continued access to services in French, whether through digital channels or in-person in designated areas,” says Réal Déquier, Board Chair of Caisse Financial Group.

“We will operate as Assiniboine Credit Union in predominately English-speaking locations and Caisse Assiniboine in designated areas,” Déquier says. “The new credit union creates a unique opportunity to serve both English and French-speaking communities across Manitoba like never before,” he added.

Crystal Laborero, Board Chair of Assiniboine Credit Union said that a merger of Assiniboine Credit Union, Caisse Financial Group, and Westoba Credit Union will create a uniquely Manitoban financial co-operative.

“It will be the first time a credit union will have such a wide geographic reach throughout Manitoba, offer French language services, and serve both urban and rural members through a values-based approach to banking,” Laborero said.

“We feel the bylaws we’ve created are an imperative long-term commitment that honours the unique role Francophone communities and French language services have and continue to play in the history of the caisse and credit union movement in Manitoba,” Laborero adds.

The commitment to the Francophone community is also reflected in the proposed board composition of the new entity.

“The new credit union will be governed by a 12-member board, which includes six members from Assiniboine and three each from Caisse and Westoba. Future elections will be held on an at-large basis, ensuring a minimum of two directors who meet our definition of a Francophone individual and a minimum of two directors who meet our definition of a rural individual,” says Garnet McBurney, Board Chair of Westoba Credit Union.

“This merger would give us the capacity and scale to create a unique credit union that has a larger network of employees who are excited to make a difference in the rural and urban communities we serve as active volunteers. It will create more diverse career opportunities for our employees, who are our greatest strength. We are doing what we always do best, working cooperatively for what’s best for our members, employees, and communities. It’s who we are,” says Garnet McBurney, Board Chair of Westoba Credit Union.

The Boards of Directors and leadership of all three credit unions recommend its 970 employees and 216,000 members vote in favour of the merger this June. If the proposed merger is approved, the new entity could take effect January 1, 2025.

Following a thorough selection process, all three boards have unanimously recommended current Assiniboine President & CEO Kevin Sitka as President & CEO of the new organization. Caisse CEO Joël Rondeau and Westoba President & CEO Jim Rediger will continue in leadership roles to support the post-merger entity.

Some of the key pressures on financial institutions like credit unions include significant investments necessary for digital banking advancements, growing regulatory requirements, increased competitive pressures from outside the market, and the need to spend more on increasingly complex cybersecurity measures to protect members. All require investments that are hard to sustain for one credit union on its own. To keep pace with the needs and wants of its members, it is imperative to merge now as strong partners.

For the press release highlighting the changing financial services landscape that makes the merger imperative go to

For the press release highlighting the new credit union’s commitment to rural and agricultural communities go to


About Assiniboine Credit Union

ACU is a financial co-operative in Manitoba with branches in Winnipeg, Thompson, and Gillam and more than $6 billion in assets. As a Certified B Corp, ACU serves its members on Treaty 1 and Treaty 5 lands, located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis Nation.

ACU uses its expertise and resources to foster self-reliant and sustainable communities, while taking care to consider the impact of business decisions on employees, members, the environment, and the communities it serves. For more information, visit

About Caisse Financial Group

Caisse Financial Group has over $2 billion in assets and 19 branches across Manitoba, serving more than 35,000 members with bilingual products and services. Caisse was the first officially registered co-operative in the province in 1937.

Caisse is a bilingual financial institution that offers financial products and services for every phase of life. Caisse’s mission is to meet its members’ evolving financial needs and invest in the well-being of its communities. The following core values support Caisse’s mission: Respect for Individuals, Integrity and Transparency, Innovation, and Community Involvement. For more information, visit

About Westoba Credit Union

Founded in 1963, Westoba Credit Union is a 60-year-old financial institution with $1.5 billion in assets. Proudly headquartered in Brandon, Manitoba, Westoba has a hybrid workforce with nearly half of its employees working remotely.

Committed to meeting the diverse needs of its 41,000 members, Westoba extends its reach through 13 physical branches that reach from The Pas to Cartwright and a virtual team that ensures accessible and convenient financial solutions for all members.

Westoba believes in staying connected and engaged, and empowering people and communities to thrive. For more information, visit

For more information:

Dean Beleyowski

Assiniboine Credit Union

Sylvie Laurencelle

Caisse Financial Group

Matt Worobec

Westoba Credit Union

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