Members from the Torquay Credit Union and the Ogema-based Radius Credit Union have overwhelmingly approved a merger, which will take effect on March 31, 2014.
Torquay Credit Union members voted 99 per cent in favor of the merger at a special meeting on December 3 that attracted 61 members.
"This merger is a positive move forward for our membership," said Torquay Credit Union board president Steven Berg. "Both organizations are similar in their cultures and their vision, and are committed to their membership and their rural communities. We look forward to our future together."
The Radius members who attended their special meeting on December 4 voted unanimously in favour of the merger.
Torquay Credit Union CEO Ann Favreau said the merger is in the best interest of its members, as it will allow the credit union to be better serve them, while providing relevant products and services, such as U.S. accounts, registered products, wealth management and commercial lending.
"We'll also be able to offer higher lending limits to our members," said Favreau. "It's going to allow us to grow while running our business more efficiently, and our members are going to have access to specialists and service expertise."
Favreau said the credit union's board has been talking about a merger for a few years, and they decided to further explore their options during this past spring's planning session. After considering a number of different avenues, they decided that Radius was their best possible partner.
"They are a credit union that we have so much in common with," said Favreau. "We do so many things together. We work on many projects. Definitely we took a look at them right away."
Radius was receptive to the possibility of a merger, too, she said.
Favreau said that the support of the membership is a clear message that they back the merger.
A lot of work will have to be tackled before the merger takes effect in March, Favreau said. The two sides need to come to a common platform for technology. Torquay will have to bring their products on-side with those of Radius. Governance and training tasks will also have to be completed.
The new credit union will operate under the name of Radius Credit Union, and it will have branches in Torquay, Tribune, Ogema, Avonlea, Ceylon, Pangman and Radville.
Once the merger takes effect, Radius will have over 5,000 members and more than $255 million in assets. There will be access to a complete range of financial and investment products and services.
At the time the merger was announced, the Torquay Credit Union had a little more than 1,150 members.
Radius Credit Union CEO Ted Struthers will be the CEO of the merged credit unions.