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Credit Unions Receive 8 Banking Awards, Adding Fuel To Use Of the Word Bank Argument

Credit unions were the big winners in the Ipsos Best Banking Award Recipients for 2017 among all financial institutions.

“It’s especially positive and exciting because in the last couple years in our area, times have been kind of tough. We’ve really expected our employees and our management team to be creative and innovative and to reach out and to make those relationships stronger with our members,” says Don Wheler, Synergy Board President.

Credit unions took home or were tied first in eight out of the 13 categories. Including first for Customer Service Excellence and Branch Service Excellence each for the 13th consecutive year.

The awards come following an advisory put out by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) that restricts the use of the words “bank,” “banker” and “banking” by non-bank financial service providers such as credit unions. Synergy Credit Union was disappointed by this decision and has been lobbying the government to change the legislation so it is not so restrictive.

“When we get an award that says we’re tied for first for mobile banking excellence and for online banking excellence and for live agent telephone banking excellence. It kind of adds to our argument, that those are just words that our members and our customers use interchangeably and they’re not associated with any specific institution.”

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Regardless of the advisory, Wheler says that even with fluctuations in the market, Synergy Credit Union is continuing to grow.

“What we look forward to is just developing relationships that allow them to see some of the other services and customer based financial planning and wealth management, some of those things that maybe don’t recognize Synergy is doing at such a high level. So we look at this as another opportunity to make a connection with our members and to attract non-members.”

The Ipsos 2017 Best Banking Awards are based on a quarterly Customer Service Index (CSI) survey results. There were 47,813 completed surveys, with 68,744 financial institution ratings nationally. Ipsos says the sample is representative of the general household population based on Statistics Canada census data.

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