World Council of Credit Unions
EnglishEspañol
Search
Loading
Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  YouTube 

Newsroom

Give

Your gift will make a difference in the lives of people who survive on less than $1 a day. Learn more.

Give Today!
 

News Releases

March 31, 2004

"Credit Union Firsts" commemorate a strong history of innovation

Print Email RSS Comments


Canadians have been credit union members for over 100 years. In 1900, ordinary working people had little access to the commercially centred banks. Organized locally, according to a co-operative model, credit unions provided urgently needed savings and lending services, at fair rates.

Today, credit unions are modern financial institutions that play a strong and vibrant role in the Canadian economy. The Canadian credit union system enjoys an enviable reputation as innovators in the financial services industry. Shown below are just some of the "firsts" that have illuminated our history and enhanced our services to Canadians. All are "First in Canada", unless otherwise qualified.

1900's

  • First (and only) Financial Institution to provide Ownership and Membership to all customers Caisses Populaires Desjardins, December, 1900 (Verified in all credit union history references)
  • First Personal Loans based on Borrower's Character - Caisses Populaires Desjardins,
  • 1901 (Verified in all credit union history references)

1930's

  • First Life Insurance on loans and share savings for all members - CUNA Mutual, 1931 (CUMIS Archives)
  • First Payroll Deduction Service for Deposits and Loan Payments - CS Co-op, 1933 (History of CS Co- op, www.cscoop.ca)

1950's

  • First Open Mortgages VanCity Savings, 1959 (Canadian Credit Union Firsts,
  • Credit Union Central of British Columbia Information Centre)

1960's

  • First Financial Institution to Lend to Women in Their Own Names – VanCity Savings, 1961 (Canadian Credit Union Firsts, Credit Union Central of British Columbia Information Centre)
  • First Non-Chequable Savings Account – Caisses Populaires Desjardins (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)
  • First Residential Mortgage Repayable with No Penalty – Credit Unions (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)
  • First Variable Rate Mortgage – Credit Unions (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)
  • First Short-Term (under 5 years) Renewable Mortgage – Caisses Populaires Desjardins (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)
  • First Low Minimum Balance Term Deposit – Credit Unions (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)
  • First Walk-Up Window Service – Sherwood C.U., February, 1967 (Credit Union Way, March, 1967)
  • First to offer Daily Interest Savings – PLAN 24, VanCity Savings, 1967 (Credit Union Central of British Columbia, Corporate Information Centre)
  • First Remote TV Service – Caisse Populaire de Hull, Spring, 1967(Credit Union Way, May, 1967)

1970's

  • First Online, Real-Time Universal Inter-Branch Computer System – VanCity Savings, 1974 (Press Release, VanCity A Financial Innovator, January 09 1990)
  • First "No Strings" RRSP – No Fees, VanCity Savings, 1975 (Canadian Credit Union Firsts, Credit Union Central of British Columbia Information Centre)
  • First Personal Line of Credit – CS Co-op, 1976 (History of CS Co-op, www.cscoop.ca)
  • First Full-service ATM Network – Sherwood C.U., June, 1977 (Credit Union Way, June 1977)
  • First Weekly/Bi-weekly Payment Mortgage – Caisses Populaires Desjardins (Bank of Canada Review – Sean O'Connor and Ed Fine, 1989)

1980's

  • First Home Equity Line of Credit* First "Plain English" Loan Agreement – VanCity Savings, 1980 (Press Release, VanCity A Financial Innovator, January 09 1990)
  • First "All-In-One" Financial Statement – VanCity Savings, 1980 (Press Release, VanCity A Financial Innovator, January 09)
  • First Tiered Daily Interest Savings & Chequing (Central Data Systems, 1980)
  • First Debit Card service – CUETS, 1982 (The MasterCard Marks, Credit Union Graphic Standards Manual, September 1982)
  • First International Shared Network service – THE EXCHANGE/PNS, 1983 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03 2003)
  • First Regional Inter-F.I. Shared Service Network (ICU, Ontario, 1984)
  • First Point-Of-Sale Debit Payment Service – Western and Pioneer C.U.s, 1985 (History of Electronic Funds Transfer (INTERAC Direct Payment Marketing Plan), Credit Union Central of Canada, August 1994. Following the first POS pilot in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, it is also of interest that the second POS was Family Savings Credit Union, St. Catharines, in 1986. and the third pilot was within Caisses Populaires Desjardins in 1987.)
  • First ETHICAL Mutual Fund – ETHICAL Growth Fund, VanCity Savings, 1986 (Credit Union Central of British Columbia, Corporate Information Centre) First Telephone Banking Service – VanCity Savings/CDSL, 1986 (Canadian Credit Union Firsts, Credit Union Central of British Columbia Information Centre.. Additional verification may be forthcoming from Rick Mathews at GEAC or Manson Chung at ComputerTalk in the U.S.A.)
  • First "AAA" Mortgage-Backed Debenture Euro- Issue – VanCity Savings, 1986 (Press Release, VanCity A Financial Innovator, January 09 1990)
  • First Equity Shares – Richmond Savings Credit Union, 1987 (Credit Union Management, September 1991)
  • First Registered Educational Savings Plan – VanCity Savings, 1988 (Canadian Credit Union
  • Firsts, Credit Union Central of British Columbia Information Centre)
  • First ATM Transaction by Satellite – CDSL/Cancom, 1988 (Credit Union Way, July 1988)

1990's

  • First Line of Credit Reverse Mortgage – Cataract Savings, June, 1990 (Globe and Mail, May 09 1991)
  • First Post Office in a Credit Union – Parry Sound Muskoka C.U., January 1991 (Credit Union Management, September 1991)
  • First One-Time Fee Mortgage – First Heritage C.U., 1991 (Credit Union Management, September 1991)
  • First National Family of Ethical Mutual Funds (Canadian Central, 1992)
  • First Equity-Linked G.I.C. (Richmond C.U., 1993)
  • First National Inter-F.I. Shared Deposit Service (ICU, Canadian Central, 1994)
  • First Interactive TV Home Banking in the World –VanCity Savings, November, 1994 (Canadian Information Productivity Awards, Richard Wafer, 1996)
  • First International Debit Transaction in the World (CUETS/MAESTRO)*
  • First PC-Based Home Banking – VanCity Savings, 1995 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03 2003)
  • First Retail Smart Card in North America – VanCity Savings/VISACash, December, 1995 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03 2003)
  • First Auto Leasing (Credit Union Central of Canada, 1995)
  • First Branchless Bank – Citizens Bank/VanCity Savings, February, 1996 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03 2003)
  • First Fully-Functional Internet Home Banking – I.W.A. C.U., August, 1996 (Credit Union Way, November/December 1996)
  • First MONDEX Credit Union in the World (Guelph & Wellington C.U., 1997)
  • First Wireless Seagoing ATMs in North America – VanCity Savings, September, 1997 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03 2003)
  • First Full ISO Certification of any North American F.I. – Sudbury C.U., September 09, 1998 (portfolio@newswire.ca, September 09 1998)
  • First Socially Responsible RESP in Canada – Ethical Funds Inc., 1998 (Credit Union Way, July 1988)
  • First Wireless Point-Of-Sale System – VanCity Savings, January, 1999 (Richard Wafer, e-mail to John Ellis, February 03, 2003)

2000's

  • First Disabled Person Financial Service Package – VanCity Savings, April, 2000 (Briefs, Credit Union Central of Canada, April 19, 2000)
  • First Cheque Imaging Service – Credit Union Central of B.C., 2001 (Mervin Zabinsky, Credit Union Central of British Columbia, in interview with John Ellis, February 2003)
  • First Gay and Lesbian Public Advertising Campaign – VanCity Savings, Fall 2002 (Sarah Holland, VanCity Savings, February 2003)
  • First Securitized Agricultural Mortgage – St. Willibrord C.U., May, 2003 (Canadian Central News & Views, May 16, 2003) Canadian Central wants to hear about your "Credit Union Firsts"! We encourage you to submit additional "Firsts" by contacting:

Jan Hopper Manager, Standards & Deputy Privacy Officer Credit Union Central of Canada Phone: 416-232-3414 E-mail: hopperj@cucentral.com



World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.

 



E-mail: mail@woccu.org
Phone: (608) 395-2000
Print Email RSS Comments



Home > Newsroom > News Releases

About World Council of Credit Unions 

Financial Inclusion 

Member Services 

Policy & Advocacy 

Events & Education 

Get Involved 

Publications 

Newsroom