Ellen Valter, Chair, Board of Directors, submitting her vote...
Reede, 06 Detsember 2019 19:00
Estonian Life No. 49 2019
29 November 2019 – The Chairs of the Boards of the Estonian (Toronto) Credit Union Limited (ECU) and the Latvian Credit Union Limited (LCU) are pleased to announce that their respective memberships have approved the amalgamation of the two organizations at special member meetings held this week. This merger will be the first inter-ethnic credit union merger in Ontario.
On Wednesday November 27th, the ECU membership approved the merger resolution by an enthusiastic 94%. The following evening, LCU members approved a resolution to merge with ECU by a resounding 98%. The new entity will be known as Northern Birch Credit Union to reflect their commitment to growth in the wider community, and to honour their cultural roots.
Ellen Valter, Chair of ECU, said, “After a thorough due diligence process and collaborative business planning, our boards determined that both credit unions will be stronger as a result of the amalgamation. Our members agreed. We’re thrilled they gave us such a strong vote of confidence to carry us into the future.”
Juris Steprans, Chair of LCU, echoed the sentiment. “The Estonian and Latvian people have a long history of collaboration as neighbours on the Baltic Sea and as kindred communities in Toronto. By joining together we can continue to give back to our communities, while providing access to the latest modern banking services.”
Anita Saar, CEO of Estonian Credit Union, will lead the merged organization. “In an increasingly fast- moving world, where digital banking and technology are taking centre stage, we will be better able to complement personal attention with the latest products and services. As we open our doors to the wider community, we will continue to provide an ongoing link to our cultural and historic roots, and support to our communities.”
Latvian Credit Union CEO, Andris Lagzdins, will be retiring. “This is a momentous occasion in our shared history. I am proud of all we have accomplished and confident for what the future will bring. After 31 years with LCU, I can retire knowing I leave the credit union with a promising future.”
TORONTO EESTI ÜHISPANGA JA LÄTI ÜHISPANGA LIIKMED ANDSID OMA NÕUSOLEKU ÜHINEMISE KOHTA NORTHERN BIRCH CREDIT UNION NIME ALL
True to their cooperative roots, members and employees of both credit unions were invited to participate in focus groups exploring a name for the new credit union. All participants emphasized the desire to connect ‘north with north’, and the hope they would be continuing to build a credit union that will be here for their children and grandchildren.
The amalgamation will be effective January 1, 2020, with the transition to the new name and amalgamation activities ongoing throughout next year. The merged organization will serve approximately 6,400 members, and administer approximately $200 million in assets.
ECU is located in Toronto and currently serves the Estonian community with over 4,700 members. LCU is located in Toronto and Hamilton, and currently serves the Latvian community with 1,600 members.
All three branches form part of the new Northern Birch Credit Union and work on the integration and harmonization of the two credit unions will begin shortly and continue throughout next year. More information will be shared with members in the coming months.
Our future is Northern Birch Credit Union
We are pleased to announce that the motion to merge together with the Latvian Credit Union and amalgamate as Northern Birch Credit Union passed at our November 27th Special Meeting of Members by a resounding 94%. A heartfelt thank you to all members who made their voices heard through the voting process, and who joined us in surveys and focus groups as we embarked on the rebranding journey.
The name Northern Birch reflects our opportunity to bridge cultures, where north meets north.
It represents the feeling of growth and sustainability. The birch tree is unique to the north, it is hardy and persistent. It often grows in a cluster, in groups scattered through northern forests – like a community.
Our roots are strong and our culture is firmly rooted in trust. Northern Birch allows us to continue to honour our heritage, while giving us the opportunity to grow to meet the needs of future generations. We will continue to invest in our community and keep the core values of our credit union at the forefront of what we do.
The amalgamation as Northern Birch Credit Union will be effective January 1, 2020 and the new brand identity will be implemented in a phased approach over the coming year. Keep your eyes open for exciting news and updates as we reveal more about our new look and brand.
By joining together with the Latvian Credit Union, we will be able to offer our members the increased benefit of choice, as LCU brings with them two branches; one in the Latvian Cultural Centre in Toronto and the other in Hamilton. We will work to provide access to your accounts and make ECU products & services available at these branches as quickly as we can. More information will be shared with you throughout the next few months.
We thank you for joining us on this journey as we continue to build a vibrant credit union that will be here to serve the needs of our children and grandchildren. Our story shows we are architects of our own future. We are thriving, evolving and growing. Together, we are Northern Birch Credit Union.
Chair, Board of Directors
President & CEO
“Õues sirge kask seal kasvab, Temast magust mahla sain”