Thursday, April 2, 2020

COVID-19

During such uncertain times, our thoughts turn to the essentials. At Leading Edge Credit Union, our priority is the health and safety of our members and employees - and we want to ensure you receive the financial services you need in the safest way possible.  
You will notice that we are limiting the number of members who are able to be in the branch at any one time and we are also temporarily changing our in-branch banking service hours to 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday. This decision was made in the best interest of everyone, but I want to assure you that we remain open and able to support our members, over the phone, weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. And, as always, our online, mobile, and telephone banking services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more about how we can provide you with safe and convenient banking services, please call us, message us on social media or visit us at lecu.ca. 
At this highly stressful time, we feel that it is our job to help our members focus on what is important: the health and well-being of themselves, their families and loved ones. Some of you may be facing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I want you to know that you can count on us to work with you to find solutions to your financial needs. As always, we are here to help you, your businesses and our communities.  
I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, our members for their incredible support in helping us reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by practicing physical distancing and embracing new forms of banking. Our strong sense of community and willingness to make sacrifices for the common good will get us through these challenging times. I also want to thank all of the incredible front line workers in our communities whose dedication and sacrifice make life better, and safer, for everyone.  
And finally, I want to thank our staff. Our world has changed but our members’ need for honest and trustworthy financial services remains. Our professional and dedicated staff are committed to being there for our members. Time and time again, our members have told us that one of the most important reasons they chose to bank with us is our people. To honour their commitment, we are giving back to our staff by reducing their work hours to give them extra time off, with pay, to care for themselves and their loved ones. 
These are unprecedented times, but we are resilient people and, together, we will get through this. On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors of Leading Edge, stay safe and healthy. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Board Election


Credit Unions.  Banks.  In a lot of ways, there are more similarities than differences.  We both offer similar products and services: chequing and savings accounts, loans and mortgages, investment products, and online and mobile banking options.  But there are several key differentiators that set credit unions apart from chartered banks….

Hi, I’m Cory Munden, CEO of YOUR Leading Edge Credit Union.  Did you notice how I said “your” credit union?  That’s because, as a shareholder, you are also an equal owner.  Credit unions are member-owned, democratically-controlled co-operative financial institutions. They are run by a volunteer board of directors elected by the membership. Each shareholder has one vote. By contrast, bank customers don't have voting rights, can't be elected to the board, and have no control over what the bank does.  The governance of credit unions is in the hands of its members.  In fact, it is one of the seven co-operative principles that guide the operations of all credit unions.  The seven principles are:

à Voluntary and Open Membership
à Democratic Member Control
à Member Economic Participation
à Autonomy and Independence
à Education, Training and Information
à Co-operation among Co-operatives
à Concern for Community

I could go into detail about how Leading Edge Credit Union lives each of these principles, but perhaps that is a topic for another time.  For now, I’d like to focus on one: democratic member control.  This brings me to the reason for this message to you (thanks for reading, by the way).  With our annual general meeting just around the corner, between now and January 25th, Leading Edge Credit Union will once again invite our membership to consider serving on the board of directors.  “What do the directors of a credit union do?” you might ask.  Well, as policy makers, directors are instrumental in effecting positive changes, which ensure growth and development for their Credit Union and community. Directors often provide a fresh look from a different perspective, assisting a credit union in being responsive to member needs and leading to technological innovation and new services.  It is important for a Credit Union to have a strong board consisting of a diverse group of people. Directors come from all walks of life... teachers, trades people, homemakers, farmers, nurses, and business professionals — just to name a few. If you believe financial institutions best serve the people who use their services every day and the communities in which those people live, you can make a real contribution; you can help your community prosper!

Board service is not without its benefits to you, the individual.  It offers excellent professional development opportunities, the ability to personally contribute to enhancing your community’s own financial institution, the opportunity to participate in local, regional, national and international networking opportunities, and training through an accredited national directors training program.  At Leading Edge Credit Union, we can also do our very best to accommodate your busy schedule.  Many of our directors take advantage of technology to participate in meetings.  As a director, you would receive an annual remuneration, and all board related expenses are covered at no cost to you.  You would also benefit from insurance coverage to protect against personal liabilities.

Credit unions are driven by both economic and social concerns. They are community-based organizations that care not only about the bottom line of their business, but also the needs of their members and the quality of life in their communities.  I strongly urge you to consider the role that you could play in guiding Leading Edge Credit Union into the future.  For more information on our upcoming election, please call our corporate office at 695-7065 or visit our website at www.lecu.ca.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Together we can ensure that Leading Edge Credit Union continues to be the best option for financial services for its member-owners!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Happy Credit Union Day

Credit Union Day

October 18th is Credit Union Day! So, what is the big deal? The credit union, after all, is simply a supplier of financial services in the banking industry; there is nothing sexy about that! Too often, the consumer’s focus is on comparing products and services of credit unions versus big bank competitors. Its natural to compare an interest rate or service charge when choosing a financial service provider but there is so much more to consider. Credit Union Day provides the opportunity to focus on the credit union difference, so consumers can see that it truly is better to do business with a credit union. This blog highlights a few key credit union differences.

An important distinction is the concept of ownership. A member of a credit union is an owner; they can contribute to the successful operation of the organization. Now, this might not be something most people are interested in.  When our members were polled only 21% agreed that this was important to them. This is fine, but the ownership concept extends well beyond credit union governance. Ownership means that the credit union works for you, the owner. When a typical business or a bank makes a decision, who does that decision usually benefit the most? The answer is the owners, the major shareholders, the people or companies who stand to make the most profit from the decision, not necessarily the customers. But in the case of credit unions, the owners are the customers. And because our customers control us, democratically, we ALWAYS act in the best interests of our members.

Leading Edge Credit Union actually embedded this focus in our vision which states that “we strive to assist all our members to meet their financial goals by providing advice and services with a focus on the members’ best interests.” When you deal with us, you can rest assured that our focus is on your best interests. But you don’t have to take my work for it! Our most recent member survey tells us that 92.76% of our members feel that LECU acts in their best interests. In fact, nationally, credit unions have placed #1 in customer service for 14 consecutive years. So, if you want honest financial advice from a financial institution that truly has your back, then seek out a credit union. Oh, and by the way, if the credit union is successful, you share in the success. LECU has returned over $644,000 back to our members in the form of dividends and patronage rebates. And that’s on top of offering great rates and banking packages! It’s really an easy decision.

Another feature that sets us apart from our competitors is our role in our communities. Community capacity building and support is in the DNA of credit unions. We are built on the foundation of 7 co-operative principles. One of these principles is ‘concern for community’. To illustrate our commitment to thriving communities, LECU operates in two communities where banks had closed branches deeming the community too “unprofitable”. . Leading Edge Credit Union instead chooses to focus on supporting the social-economic development of communities. This statement is supported by the many great things that LECU does within our communities such as volunteering, sponsorships and donations, educational programming, and environmental initiatives. We know that the well-being of your community is important to you; LECU has always and will always play a significant role in supporting strong and vibrant communities. To-date in 2018, our staff members have contributed 322 hours of volunteer time during work hours and a whopping 904 personal volunteer hours in their communities. LECU has also supported over 93 community organizations this year!
On this International Credit Union Day, we have a lot to celebrate! So if you haven’t done so yet, maybe it’s time to check us out and start your journey towards a better financial future for you while helping build a stronger community for everyone.