Atlantic Central launches, supporting Atlantic credit unions across the region

(HALIFAX) — January 1, 2011 marked a milestone in the history of the co-operative movement in Atlantic Canada. With the proclamation of amended Credit Union legislation in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the credit unions’ centrals in each province have combined to form Atlantic Central.

Atlantic Central is the culmination of over 2 years of work on the part of each central, in co-operation with the regulators in each province. President and CEO Bernie O’Neil noted, “The support and encouragement shown by the governments in each province has been gratifying. Atlantic Central will help our economy by supporting credit unions as they build on their successes in their local communities. Credit unions contribute to their community in many ways, and the credit union system throughout the four provinces employs more than 1500 people.”

Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele noted the importance of credit unions to communities throughout the region: “Credit unions are customer-oriented, support families and help to grow our economy through small businesses and community development. Credit unions are focused on and committed to the local economy.”

All employees of the three combining companies were offered positions in the new Central. Going forward, Atlantic Central will be based in Halifax, with offices in Moncton, New Brunswick and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. There are plans to establish a Newfoundland and Labrador office in 2011.

This business combination benefits the 61 credit unions and more than 340,000 credit union members in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Atlantic Central provides banking, treasury and other services to member credit unions. Credit unions are member-owned financial service institutions, distinct from other financial institutions by the fact that members are also owners.

The formation of Atlantic Central will provide Atlantic credit unions with long term stability of services, and ensure they have a meaningful voice at the national level.