TORONTO, ON: Canadian credit unions are strong advocates for small and medium sized business (SMEs), and have a long history of commitment to helping local businesses prosper. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) 2016 Battle of the Banks report released today, this approach has been recognized by SME owners themselves.
This is the third CFIB SME report issued since 2010 relating to this study, and credit unions have ranked first for all three.
Across the four key areas surveyed – financing, fees, account manager experience and service - credit unions not only ranked first, but significantly outperformed their competitors.
Credit unions also received the highest rankings when it comes to serving Micro Businesses (fewer than five employees), Small Businesses (five to 49 employees), and Mid-sized Businesses (50 to 499 employees).
Broken down by province, the Report shows that credit unions received first-place scores in British Columbia, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Ontario and the Atlantic region. They placed second in Alberta and were only 0.1 point below ATB Financial, a provincial institution. Credit unions operate in nine of Canada’s provinces only, so are not included in Quebec provincial rankings. Click here for full provincial rankings.
“Credit unions work diligently on building strong relationships with their members. They understand their needs and recognize a void in the market, for lending to these individuals and businesses,” said Martha Durdin, president and CEO. “Credit unions hold 11.5 per cent of the market share in lending to the small and medium sized enterprises sector – a share on par with some of the big banks – and are focused on helping SMEs grow.”
In 2015, credit union lending activity related to small businesses, grew by 8.3 per cent, from ($145.7 billion, to $157.8 billion).
In terms of both Canadian credit unions and caisses populaires, jointly they are the second largest lender for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises through the federal Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP). In 2015, the value of credit unions’ and caisses populaires’ CSBFP, was $215.9 million – just over 25 per cent of the market.
“This report is a testament to the hard work credit unions put into serving their members – who are not just clients, but owners too, and is reflective of the importance credit unions place on meeting the individual needs of Canadians seeking financial guidance both personally and in business.”
For more information about how credit unions serve local communities and the national economy, click here.
To read CFIB’s national media release about this survey, click here.