Social Impact Financial Services
Guided by our vision of a world where financial services in local communities contribute to a sustainable future for all, we actively look for opportunities to use financial services for the benefit of people and communities.
In 2015, ACU continued to work collaboratively to provide financial services to the unbanked and under-served, welcoming 794 new members to ACU through various partnerships.
We attribute this success to our many community partners who are working to help Winnipeg residents access basic banking and direct deposit services. As more financial services and deposits are done exclusively through electronic means, access to safe and affordable services grow ever more important.
In 2015, we continued to engage with our members and communities to find new ways to provide accessible financial services that promote empowerment of local communities. One such example is Stingers Credit Union, a partnership between ACU & Tec Voc High School, that develops young leaders while providing on-site banking services for high school students. Launched at the end of 2014, 2015 saw the branch grow to 145 new members who are now part of the ACU family.
As part of ACU's Corporate Strategic Plan (2013-2016), our goal is to grow the value of financial services (loans, deposits) with positive impact in our communities. The value of our Social Impact portfolio was $292.5 million at the end of 2015.
Enhancements to our Credit Risk Management Policy made in 2015 take the social impact of our loans into account and inform flexible financing conditions for non-profits, co-operatives and social enterprises.
Community Economic Development Branches
Customized Loan Programs
Recognition Counts, a program offered in partnership with SEED Winnipeg, provides loans of up to $10,000 for skilled immigrants living on low income to pursue the certification, upgrading or training they need to work in their field here in Manitoba. Since launching the program in October 2012, loans totaling $1.5 million have been provided to 181 people allowing them to pursue their careers. Already 82 people are working in their previous profession, or a related field, resulting in a significant social and economic impact for them, their families, and our communities.
Jubilee Fund Partnership
Asset Building Programs
As the financial services provider for the AssetBuilders Partnership, we offer a specially designed Matched Savings Account for participants of poverty-reducing asset building programs delivered by non-profit partners in Winnipeg and Thompson.
RESP Referral Program
We assisted families to invest 189 bursaries provided by the Boys & Girls Club in RESPs for graduates of the Community School Investigators (CSI) program.
View ACU’s multi-year results here.
Assiniboine Credit Union was the proud recipient of the 2015 National Credit Union Award for Social Responsibility! The honour recognized the successful AssetBuilders Partnership created and delivered by Assiniboine Credit Union in partnership with SEED Winnipeg and the United Way of Winnipeg, together with many other community organizations. Since the partnership began in 2000, participants with low incomes have saved $1.7 million, and an additional $3.1million was contributed in matched funds to the over 3,600 Manitobans who've participated in the program.
Concentra Financial also awarded Assiniboine Credit Union with a 2015 emPOWERING Your Communities grant of $10,000 for the Recognition Counts program created in partnership with SEED Winnipeg, which provides supports to skilled immigrants wishing to work in their fields of expertise in Manitoba, including loans to help with the cost of having qualifications recognized in Manitoba and obtaining employment in their profession or trade. The grant provided additional funds for SEED Winnipeg to carry out their role in this very successful partnership program.
In 2015, we continued our active participation as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an international network of financial institutions dedicated to using financial services for the benefit of underserved people, communities and the environment. We attended the annual meeting in Paris, France as well as a Governing Board Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark. ACU is also an active member of the GABV Impact Metrics team, which has developed a scorecard for assessing alignment with GABV's Principles of Sustainable Banking. This scorecard improves our ability to measure our contribution to the real economy and the value of assets invested in the triple bottom line (people, planet, prosperity).
October 22, 2015, marked a second successful international awareness campaign to build the values-based banking movement through a series of global webcasts, local events, activation emails and social media activity. Assiniboine Credit Union participated with GABV members around the world in the #BankingOnValues campaign that resulted in: 7200+ publicly shared social media messages using the common hashtag #BankingOnValues, creating 10 million impressions, 4,500 video views, and media coverage in many countries.
We continue to share non-financial resources and expertise to strengthen the Community Investment Movement through representation on the Canadian Credit Union Association's (formerly Credit Union Central of Canada) Social Responsibility Committee, the Manitoba Co-operative Community Strategy, the Manitoba Social Enterprise Strategy, the Canadian CED Network's Enterprising Non-Profits "Solutions Table", and other collaborations that align with achieving ACU's values-based banking objectives such as the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Environmental Leadership Council.
At Assiniboine Credit Union, we continue to engage our members and communities to find new ways to provide financial services to those who are underserved, and do so through partnerships and an empowerment model. Stingers Credit Union, a partnership between ACU and Tec Voc High School, is developing young credit union leaders while providing on-site financial services for high school students. Launched in December of 2014, the branch grew in 2015 as the students recruited 145 new members, who are now a part of the Assiniboine Credit Union family.
Assiniboine Credit Union continues to focus on supporting the creation and sustainability of affordable housing in our communities, because everyone deserves access to a safe and affordable place to live. We use our voice to promote awareness through events like the CEO Sleepout organized by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, we contribute our expertise and leadership to collaborations like the Winnipeg Homelessness Partnership Strategy (HPS) Community Advisory Board, and we look for ways to create financing solutions through our Community Financial Centre.
Assiniboine Credit Union sponsored the inaugural #UnwrapWPG "Buy Local" Campaign created by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. A successful social media component of the campaign led to a donation of $1000 to LITE by ACU. This campaign was a wonderful opportunity to talk about ACU as a local financial co-operative that believes strongly in supporting the local business community and the local economy.
We also continue to advance the vision and mission of Values-Based Banking by making local and national presentations to entrepreneurs, students, community organizations, credit union leaders, as well as at conferences and through the media.