Saskatchewan credit unions are using the International Year of Cooperatives to mark 75 years of serving the people and communities of Saskatchewan.
On August 2, 1937, the first Saskatchewan credit union, Regina Hebrew Savings and Credit Union, was incorporated. This was followed in the same year by the creation of Moose Jaw Credit Union, the Star-Phoenix Savings and Credit Union, the Sherwood Credit Union, the Regina Wheat Pool Employees’ Savings and Credit Union, and Sacred Heart Parish Savings and Credit Union.
Although the Regina Hebrew Savings and Credit Union eventually closed its doors, the others went on to amalgamate and still exist under different names.
“The spirit of ‘Neighbours helping neighbours to help themselves’ has endured and grown beyond what these founders could have imagined,” said Spectra CEO Tim Schroh. “Credit unions are now among the most reliable and stable financial institutions in the world.”
Saskatchewan credit unions were at one time jokingly referred to as "penny banks," but they are now modern, world-class financial institutions with assets of over $16 billion, and they serve more than half a million members. Their support of communities and families has helped raise Saskatchewan from the depths of the Great Depression to become a vibrant and growing province with an enviable economy.
“Seventy-five years after the founding of the first credit union, we can look back at the vision of the men and women who pooled their meager funds to give even the poorest among them a chance at a brighter future,” said Ann Favreau of the Torquay Credit Union. “From them, we can learn that we don’t have to wait for others to come to our aid or define our future for us.”
Spectra Credit Union and Torquay Credit Union are two of 60 Saskatchewan credit unions that serve 270 communities through 301 service outlets. Saskatchewan credit unions build lives and fulfill dreams by helping members achieve financial well-being and by investing in their communities.
Credit unions will also celebrate International Credit Union Day on October 18, as part of national Co-op Week from October 15 to 19.