There hasn’t been a major expansion, in fact, there’s been no construction at all, but virtually overnight the Rimbey branch of Community Savings got a whole lot bigger following the announcement on Nov. 1 that they, along with the Servus and Common Wealth Credit Unions have joined forces in what is being called a strategic amalgamation.
The merger, which will see the organization’s assets grow to nearly $10 billion and number of employees grow to 2,000, will allow members to conduct their banking transactions at 100 locations in 64 communities throughout central and northern Alberta.
“The services we deliver will be the same at the local level. Where it will be better is if our members are in centres where there was a Servus or Common Wealth Credit Union, they will now be able to go to that credit union and get their transactions completed,” said Rimbey Community Savings Manager Ralph Blyth. “There won’t be any changes, I don’t believe, in the banking system for some time, but there are options in place where we can look after all the members.”
According to a press release issued by Servus Credit Union, the approximately 367,000 members of the expanded organization will not experience any immediate changes to how they conduct their banking and in the short-term, patrons will only notice the change when new signage appears on affected branches and a new logo appears on stationary, bank statements and with local sponsorship programs.
Those changes are expected to be made over the next 18 months.
Blyth said he hasn’t heard from any local members who have utilized the new credit union in the north, however he added that there have been members from there who have conducted their business here in Rimbey.
“Not yet and I’m not aware of any who have used the service in other branches of the Servus or Commonwealth Credit Unions, but we’ve definitely had members from their credit unions in our branch and it all worked out,” he said added that the merger will ultimately benefit all members.
“It’ll mean, especially for people that are living up north, that we will now be able to assist them with their banking needs where before, they would have to get back to their own branch before we could help them with certain facilities,” he said. “For the people living around Rimbey, and if they go to places like Grand Prairie, Edmonton or Fort McMurray, they can now do their banking up there and get services from us that they couldn’t get before. Back then it was all done by mail, now we can do it right on-line.”
The amalgamation of the three credit unions will make it the third-largest credit union in Canada and the largest in Alberta.
“We are all one in the same and members can get their business down up there now too,” Blyth said. “It’s as if they were standing at their own home branch. It’s getting bigger and better.”