Canadians are once again ranking credit unions as first in customer service, even as brokers anticipate new legislation will draw them deeper into the channel.
Canada’s credit unions (an aggregate of individual credit unions across the country) bagged the Ipsos Reid 2012 Best Banking Award for overall customer service excellence, beating out the much bigger banks.
The strong confidence vote for credit unions came at the heels of another survey which suggested that customer satisfaction with the Big Five is once more on the decline. It also follows new plans on the federal level that would allow credit unions to become federal players, moving them beyond regional territories.
That migration is poised to help brokers as they grapple with a declining number of big lenders, most recently FirstLine.
ING Direct may soon be on that list, as its parent company looks at selling the bank. Brokers worry any new lender could move to take ING out of the broker channel.
A move to make CUs national lenders would see brokers actively hawk their wares in new markets. A strategy credit unions already rely on, but on a much smaller scale.
Brokers already working with British Columbia’s Coast Capital Savings and Ontario’s Meridian Credit Union may be in the best position to capitalize on that expansion, with both of those players apparently eager to go cross country.