Stetski calls out restrictions on credit unions

The Kootenay-Columbia MP isn’t happy with credit unions can no longer use the word “bank”

The Nelson and District Credit Union won’t be able to call itself a bank any more. File photo

The Nelson and District Credit Union won’t be able to call itself a bank any more. File photo

Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski called out Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau on Friday for failing to protect Canadian consumers and credit unions.

At issue is a June 30 edict from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) forbidding credit unions from using simple, common terminology including bank, banking, and banker.

“Frankly, this is ridiculous,” Stetski said. “It is outrageous. Our credit unions are highly regulated and respectable institutions that shouldn’t be blocked from using the everyday words that best describe their services.”

Stetski said that the OSFI’s pronouncement is based on an 80-year-old law that has never previously been enforced with credit unions.

“Parliament intent in this section of the Banking Act is to avoid obvious examples of entities deceiving the public. It wasn’t meant to police the common verbs used by accredited institutions,” he said.

According to the Canadian Credit Union Association, over 5.6 million Canadians use their services, including almost two million in British Columbia alone. There are 15 branches across Kootenay-Columbia, representing six member-owned credit unions.

Roberta Bobicki, CEO of the Revelstoke Credit Union, said that changes will lead to confusion among consumers, who won’t know what services their local credit unions are providing.

“It’s important to us that our members and the public know that credit unions can offer the same banking services that the federally regulated commercial banks offer,” Bobicki said.

“In my riding of Kootenay-Columbia, credit unions give a significant amount of their profit back to their community every year,” Stetski said. “This unconscionable ruling will cost Canada’s credit unions $80 million meaning they’ll have less to give back.”

Stetski said he has written Morneau and urged him to quickly amend the regulations or the Banking Act to allow credit unions to use the verbs and adverbs that describe their business.

“This goes against commons sense, it goes against good management, and it goes against the interest of consumers.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tala MacDonald, a 17-year-old student at Mount Sentinel Secondary who is also a volunteer firefighter, has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
West Kootenay student wins $100K scholarship

Tala MacDonald is one of 30 Canadians to receive the Loran Scholarship

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

These two city-owned houses on Railway Avenue in the Railtown district will be sold. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson will sell two derelict houses in Railtown

Purchasers will be responsible for demolition and slope stability issues

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read