Established in 1942 by the employees of the Lever Brothers soap factory in Toronto, the credit union served its members for many years subsequently being renamed Unilever Employees Credit Union Ltd. During 2003-2004 our credit union became independent and open-bond with a new name, Equity Credit Union Inc., and a new location on Eastern Avenue. The new location allowed the credit union to remain close to its members while at the same time developing a business plan to attract general membership. With the shutdown of the Lever Bros. plant in 2009 and the major financial recession in 2008, the Board and Management decided to forge ahead and relocate within the Greater Toronto Area settling eventually in Ajax, Ontario, a young and thriving community in Durham Region in the eastern part of the GTA.
Having budgeted for a loss in fiscal 2010 and 2011 because of the move, ECU exceeded expectations and realized only a small loss in each of those years. However, with the significant population growth and booming housing market in the Durham Region, and ECU’S exceptional service, no-fee banking and attractive interest rates, our membership along with lending, profit and assets grew–the latter increasing from $36.6 million in fiscal 2010 to $115 million in fiscal 2017.
Equity Credit Union is small in terms of membership but is the third oldest credit union in Ontario. Of that small group, ECU is the largest but not by part of an asset purchase, merger or capital increase by an investment offering. ECU achieved a 21.5 percent compound annual growth rate of total assets over the last five years and in fiscal 2016 and 2017 had the highest return on average assets of all Ontario credit unions.
In its celebration of 75 years in business at the credit union’s annual general meeting on April 18th, the Board and Management were very pleased to report the following 2017 financial results:
Thomas Dimson, CEO of the credit union remarked at the AGM that “he was delighted to report continued strong growth in Assets, operating income and net income. We are building on a foundation of strength while enjoying record performance in 2017. We have in place the capital, the systems and staff to continue our growth.”
All of the above, which could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our excellent Staff and Management, enabled the Board of Directors to declare a dividend.
Looking forward, Equity Credit Union will build on its current base serving not only the Durham Region and Toronto core but also our growing membership throughout the GTA. We will continue, through excellent personal service to members and the miracles of ever-increasing innovative technology, to offer the best service, products and attractive rates, to support and contribute to the Durham community and to welcome new members.