Espanola District Credit Union, Northern Credit Union merger vote takes place this November

ESPANOLA— The Espanola and District Credit Union (EDCU) will soon be a historical financial footnote as plans are well advanced to merge the company into the larger Northern Credit Union fold, creating an entity with a billion-dollar asset base.

“The board has approved the merger,” confirmed EDCU Chief Executive Officer Lindsay Liske when contacted at the Espanola office of the Credit Union.

According to Mr. Liske, information sessions on the details of the merger will probably be held in Espanola and Little Current in mid-October, with the vote by membership to take place tentatively in the first week of November (likely November 5).

If approved by the membership, the merger (effective December 31, 2015) will create a company with a book value of assets north of $1 billion that will begin operations on January 1, 2016 (although offices don’t actually open until the next business day due to the holiday). “That is the year end for both companies,” noted Mr. Liske.

The new entity will enjoy better economies of scale, said the CEO who added that there are no anticipated job losses as a result of the merger.

A previous attempt to merge the Espanola and District Credit Union with Northridge Credit Union of Sudbury had failed in the face of stiff opposition, largely employee-led due to the non-unionized nature of the proposed merger partner. That issue was not in play this time around as Northern Credit Union is also a unionized workplace.

Northern Credit Union also merged with the Saugeen Credit Union earlier this summer, providing another major boost to the company and incorporating unique expertise into its asset base.

The new Northern Credit Union will have 32 branches, stretching from Thunder Bay to Arnprior as well as the Bruce Peninsula to south of Owen Sound. “And all points in between,” said Mr. Liske. “This will be very positive for the membership.”

Among the bonuses for the credit union membership will be access to specialized services and expertise. “On the wealth management side we will have access to specialists in Saugeen and in the Bruce there is a great deal of expertise on the agricultural side.”

While the process is well advanced, the details of the merger will be released to the membership to make the final decision.

The Espanola and District Credit Union currently has branches in Espanola, Little Current and Mindemoya.