A proud history of Credit Union innovation…
- First financial institutions to lend to women in their own names
- First to offer daily interest savings accounts
- First full-service ATM’s
- First fully functional online banking
- First debit card service
- First registered education plans
- First branchless bank
- First cheque imaging service
- First payroll deduction service for deposits and loan payments
- First loans based on borrowers’ character
- First open mortgages
- First home equity lines of credit
- First social impact bond publicly launched in Canada
- Alternative to payday lending products
Co-op’s, the facts….
According to the Saskatchewan Co-Operative Association
How many co-operatives are there?
Good question. Getting up to date statistics can be challenging. Here’s the most up to date information we have:
There are about 1,200 co-operatives and credit unions throughout Saskatchewan. To see the most up to date count of how many credit unions there are, click here
- 9,000 co-operatives in Canada
- 750,000 co-operatives in the world
How many members do co-ops have?
- Hundreds of thousands of members in Saskatchewan, over 1 million memberships, for example:
- There are more than 344,000 active members of at least one retail co-op in Saskatchewan
- Credit Unions in Saskatchewan offer financial products and services to approximately 470,000 members.
- In Canada, four of every ten Canadians, or 18,000,000 people, are members of at least one co-operative. In Quebec, approximately 70% of the population are co-op members, while in Saskatchewan 56% are members.
- Canada has one of the highest per-capita credit union membership in the world: 33 per cent of Canadians are a member of at least one credit union.
- There are over 1 billion members of co-operatives in over 90 coutries around the world.
How many people do co-operatives employ?
- Co-operatives in Saskatchewan employ over 10,000 people
- In Canada, co-operatives and credit unions employ over 150,000 people. The Desjardins movement (savings and credit co-operatives) is the largest employer in the province of Québec and has 5.8 million members.
- Co-operatives provide over 250 million jobs around the world, 20% more than multinational enterprises.
- Co-operative Firsts…
- 1895- a group of dairy farmers in the settlement of Saltcoats formed the Province’s first cooperative butter creamery, which was officially incorporated in 1897.
- 1910 – The Jewish Colonization Association established the first Credit Union in Western Canada in Wapella, Saskatchewan.
- 1935 – Canada’s first and only Consumers’ Co-operative Refinery, owned by Saskatchewan Federated Cooperatives Ltd., is established in Regina
- 1977 – Sherwood Credit Union in Regina introduced the world’s first Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
- 1985 The first true debit card was piloted in the Swift Current area and involved the installation of a point of sale system at 28 Pioneer Coop outlets
- The first co-operative business in North America, a consumer’s co-op store, was established by immigrant coal miners in Nova Scotia.
Other Co-operative Facts and Statistics
- Research has shown that co-operatives are resilient and have a stronger rate of start up success over other forms of business. Co-ops also demonstrate a higher survival rate than other forms of enteprise. A study published by the Quebec Ministry of industry and Commerce in 2008 shows that the long-term survival rate of co-operative enterprises is almost twice that of investor-owned companies. Similar studies and BC and AB have shown positive results in co-op resilience also.
- Co-ops in Canada are led by 100,000 volunteer directors and committee members
- Mountain Equipment Co-op is the largest retail co-operative in Canada
2014 Co-op Week Publications Celebrate Co-operative Successes
Several features were published to celebrate Co-operatives Week in Saskatchewan in 2014. Saskatchewan Co-operative Association teamed up with Planet S and prairie dog Magazines to produce an 8-page insert in the October 2 issue highlighting the accomplishments of the co-operative sector. In addition, the Star Phoenix and the Regina Leader Post each produced a one-page special feature about co-operatives. In the Battlefords, the News Optimist published three stories celebrating co-operatives in their October 23 edition.
At the national level, the Globe and Mail published their annual Co-operatives Week feature with the assistance of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.