Unity Credit Union’s 80th Annual Meeting Notes Record Level For Assets

At their 80th annual meeting, Unity Credit Union showcases its commitment to the community not only through products and services, but also through the volunteer efforts of staff and community donations and support.

UNITY — For the third consecutive year, Unity Credit Union held its annual general meeting virtually. While 51 people, including staff, attended online, it was noted that the meeting was recorded and would also be available online.

UCU remains the largest single-branch credit union in the province and the 12th largest credit union in Saskatchewan.

In his address to members, Chairman of the Board, Michael Soloski, said, “We grew over $26.5 million in 2021 to end the year with an asset base of 324.7 million dollars, the highest result in our history.

“Throughout the year, members resumed borrowing cautiously, which resulted in our loan portfolio growing to a new all-time high of $210 million. Our margin between interest received and interest paid continued to be affected by low interest rates and a very competitive interest rate environment.

Soloski also noted that the UCU has allocated $400,000 for member sponsorship in 2021.

During his first year as president, Soloski said the word he would use to describe 2021 would be “hampered” and his full statement is available in the annual report available to all members.

“I would rather use the word hampered to describe 2021. The year started with anticipation and excitement that vaccinations could curb coronavirus disease, but those expectations have been hampered by the arrival and spread of new variants. . The agricultural industry was expected to lead the economic recovery, but this anticipation was hampered by extremely hot and dry weather for a long period, drying out crops and pastures. Projections that economic conditions were improving were hampered by prolonged challenges for members caused by the prolonged effects of COVID. The financial successes we have experienced as a credit union have been hampered by the need to set aside provisions for potential losses due to the economic challenges present in our world.

UCU staff continue to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the community, volunteering more than 750 hours in the community, including delivering 112 meals through the meals-on-wheels program. Staff served burgers at the Unity Credit Union Aquatic Center during Drowning Prevention Week, sponsored men’s night at the golf course, and helped tear down the boards at the outdoor rink to outline some of the tasks the UCU team has committed in 2021.

The UCU has 4,486 members. Due to the prolonged pandemic, UCU’s 80th anniversary was a low-key affair, but staff delivered individually wrapped “80s” cookies to local senior centers and distributed them in-branch as part of the credit union. As a bonus, and again in support of local cafes, UCU paid for coffee at local restaurants as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations.

CEO Gerald Hauta said in his remarks, “Community support ranks high on our list of accomplishments and sources of pride.

Hauta noted that the meeting would feature the most relevant information for members and details were included in the annual report available online or if members wanted to see a more detailed version they could request one on site.

Open banking was discussed in Soloski’s speech as well as featured in a question from a participant. “The future continues to be in a state of flux. There are changes coming to payment services. Open banking regulations are currently being considered. This is important as open banking has been compared to the disruptions caused by the introduction of the World Wide Web Changes are continuing in the credit union system at the local, provincial and national levels.

Soloski also reviewed board changes, also noted in the annual report. After nine years, Sandra Wagner chose not to let her name run, while board members Martin Berg and Kristine Moon let their names run. Collette Lewin was re-nominated for the Board of Directors and as no other nominees were presented, all were elected by acclamation.

Before the meeting closed, Hauta recognized the milestone service awards and talked a bit about their history with the credit union system. The awards were presented to: Vanessa Spendelow, five; Rachel Loan, 10; Kerri Green, 15; and Dianne Kramer, 40. Kramer retired in December 2021 and his many years of service and value to the organization have been told.

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