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Northern and Copperfin credit unions aim for Jan. 2025 merger

The two Northern Ontario credit unions have set a target date for a merger, but their members will first have a chance to vote on the idea.

THUNDER BAY — The boards of two Northern Ontario credit unions have established January 2025 as the tentative date for a potential merger of the two organizations.

Northwestern Ontario-based Copperfin Credit Union and Sault Ste. Marie-based Northern Credit Union first announced plans to explore a union last February.

After a joint committee conducted initial discussions, in October the two boards unanimously approved proceeding with what they describe as the critical work that's required to bring the organizations together.

In a statement last week, they said "we are close to finalizing the due diligence phase, which is a crucial element in ensuring a thorough understanding of each organization's strengths and opportunities for synergy" but added that "Northern Credit Union and Copperfin Credit Union envision an official merger date of January 1, 2025."

Assuming regulatory approvals are received, members will then be required to vote on the merger.

The statement said, "The merger is poised to bring about enhanced capabilities and value for our members, solidifying our commitment to delivering excellence in the financial services in the north."

Most of Northern Credit Union's branches and the bulk of its membership are located in Northeastern Ontario, though it also has branches in the Ottawa Valley and Grey Bruce.

NCU is much larger than Copperfin, which began in Kenora in 2008 with the merger of two local credit unions, followed by a merger with Superior Credit Union in Thunder Bay in 2013.

Northern Credit Union chair Tim Foster has said increasing competition has made it essential for credit unions to explore partnerships that create economies of scale.

Copperfin board chair Dave Moscall has stated that the merger with Northern has the potential to create incremental value for Copperfin members, employees and communities, including access to an expanded branch network and continued investment in technology and digital services.

The two credit unions have almost 93,000 members between them.


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