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NSCU bails

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North Shore says 'no' to merger By Chris Woodall North Shore Credit Union's board of directors has decided to drop merger talks with Pacific Coast Credit Union, based out of Victoria. The decision came at a meeting Tuesday, March 10. A board vote in favour would have meant next going to the credit union's membership for a vote to pursue the merger. North Shore's board has determined that the best thing for the credit union's future is to remain independent and not pursue other business combinations in the foreseeable future, say North Shore Credit Union sources. Anyone with an account in a credit union is a member of that credit union. North Shore is the first financial institution to serve the Whistler community. If successful, the merger would have combined Whistler's fairly substantial credit union — Whistler is one of 10 NSCU branches — with a three-times-larger financial institution ($600 million in assets for NSCU, versus $1.8 billion for Pac Coast). The credit union had dallied with merging with Fraser Valley Credit Union a little less than a year ago. That deal originally was to be a triumvirate, involving Delta Credit Union, but was scrapped. Credit unions in B.C. have been looking for ways to increase bottom-line efficiencies for the past several years in such things as administration costs and providing electronic financial services. Mergers with neighbouring credit unions have been touted as one way to achieve this. But what works against credit unions is the very nature of a credit union: a financial institution that identifies strongly with the community it serves. Some credit unions only represent certain industries, for example. B.C.'s credit unions — including North Shore — are among the largest in Canada. Vancouver City Savings Credit Union is far and away the No. 1 credit union outside Quebec, where the Desjardins Group rules.

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