Growth and innovation
Building on this start, UCU`s membership and assets increased steadily. Early growth came from post-war settlers, later new deposit and loan products drove growth in the 60s and 70s. We understood the value of technology early on, becoming computerized in 1975, beating some of our larger, more established rivals in the Canadian banking industry to the punch. We were also among the first financial institutions to adopt ATM technology.
In the past two and a one half decades, many other community credit unions have merged with UCU. Those joining in the 80s include: Plast (Toronto); St. Mary`s Dormition Parish (Mississauga); Ukrainian (London); St. George`s Ukrainian (Oshawa); Ukrainian (Windsor); and, Ukrainian People`s Home (Toronto). In 1989, the credit union dropped the Toronto designation from its name to better represent its new pan-Ontario inclusiveness.
In the mid 1990s, when Thunder Bay`s Ukrainian (Ft. William) Credit Union closed, its members formed UCU Thunder Bay. In 1999, Ukrainian (Sudbury) Credit Union joined the UCU family. It was itself the union of Ukrainian (Sudbury), St. Mary`s Ukrainian Catholic Parish, and the Ukrainian Youth Association. The same year St. Demetrius Parish (Etobicoke) also joined UCU.
Immigration is again driving growth. Hundreds of new members from Ukraine, Poland, and former Soviet Bloc territories join yearly. Continued efforts to attract our youth with initiatives such as Internet bank services, as well as our award-winning Youth Unlimited line of products, are retaining memberships from second, third, and fourth generation Ukrainian Canadians. They are our future!