Two leading Ontario credit unions announced their amalgamation Friday; a move that will certainly cut into a chunk of big bank business and provide more options for mortgage brokers.
“Today, Alterna Savings and PACE Credit Union announced they have signed a letter of intent to join forces as one operating entity with 140,000 members and $4.1 billion in assets under administration,” Terance Brouse of Broad Reach Communications told MortgageBrokerNews.ca on behalf of the two institutions. “Driven by Ontario's co-operative banking movement and leveraging the first ever federated operating structure in Ontario, Alterna and PACE will combine to give Ontarians a clear alternative to the Big 5 Banks, while maintaining their respective local brands.”
And the new arrangement has already been well received by mortgage brokers.
“A fair bit of our business is originated by mortgage brokers,” Rob Paterson of Alterna Savings told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Often opportunities come up where a broker needs to place someone in Hamilton or in Vaughn or other areas and obviously we didn’t have branches there before; we’ve already heard from a number of brokers that they’re ecstatic to find out that those growing areas (will be served and). Their relationship with Alterna will expand now and they will be able to take care a number of their clients.”
The new amalgamated credit union entity will operate across 39 branches and employee 600 staff.
"This is a perfect partnership that benefits our members and our employees," Paterson said in an official release. "We have been serving communities beside each other for years, and our common focus and co-operative spirit have made this an easy and logical decision."
Paterson will serve as CEO with Pace’s Larry Smith installed as president.
"We complement each other, and share a common vision for the future and a passion for our members," the two said in the release. "We look forward to working together and continuing the history of two great brands that are focused on our communities, service excellence and honest advice."