Members approve amalgamation

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Mountain View Credit Union (MVCU) members have overwhelmingly come out in support of the amalgamation with Calgary-based Connect First Credit Union.

In all, 371 MVCU member votes were cast at a special general meeting held at the Olds College Alumni Centre on June 7, with 87 per cent voting to approve the amalgamation.

On June 6, Connect First members also voted to back the amalgamation, with 97 per cent voting in favour.

“It was such a vote of confidence from our members,” said Tracy Kelly, vice-president of marketing with MVCU. “We knew employees were in support, but to see that many members come out in support was amazing. Being membership-owned it was up to our members to decide this.”

MVCU operates 13 branches in Central Alberta including in Olds, Sundre and Didsbury and has assets of $852 million.

Connect First Credit Union operates 29 branches under the brands First Calgary Financial, Chinook Financial and Legacy Financial. It has over $5.8 billlon in assets.

MVCU initiated talks several months ago to amalgamate with First Calgary Financial.

Regulators must now consider the amalgamation for final approval.

“It’s already been past them but of course they were waiting for the membership decision,” she said.

Pending regulatory approval, the amalgamation will close on July 31.

At that time, MVCU will be become Mountain View Financial, a division of Connect First Credit Union.

“We will become a division of Connect First Credit Union officially on August 1. That will be our first day,” she said.

There will be no branch closures or staff layoffs as a result of the amalgamation, she said.

“There were key principles outlined early on in the process and one of those was no layoffs,” she said.

Current MVCU chairman Charlie Van Arnam will become the vice-chair of the new Connect First board.

“We’re a good fit as we share a focus on local member service, employee engagement, cooperative values, community participation and long-term sustainability,” said Van Arnam.

Connect First board chair Andrew Eberl said, “Our two credit unions have been strengthening communities across south and Central Alberta for almost 80 years. The strong support of our employees and members demonstrates that they see this as a very positive move for our credit unions.”

The amalgamated credit union will operate under the legal name of Connect First Credit Union Ltd, with four member facing brands: Chinook Financial, First Calgary Financial, Legacy Financial and Mountain View Financial.

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Dan Singleton

Dan Singleton is the editor of the Mountain View Gazette who joined the newspaper in 1994. He covers news, municipal politics and community events in Mountain View County. He is also a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.