A decision by a federal regulator to ban the use of common terms like “to bank” or “banking” by credit unions is one that baffles the CEO of the group representing Saskatchewan Credit Unions.
An advisory has been issued to credit unions across the country basically stating they can not use the term “banking” to describe the services they offer to Canadians.
The advisory from the “Federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions” says criminal charges could result from any credit union using the term “bank”, “banker” or “banking”.
Keith Nixon with SaskCentral says this decision goes against all elements of common vernacular, and will put credit unions at a distinct disadvantage.
He says it will not change the way credit unions do business though.
“Credit unions will continue to provide loans, accept deposits, and providing transaction services,” Nixon said. “What we do for our customers will not change, but the language we use will have to”.
There are 46 credit unions in Saskatchewan which serve 474 thousand members.