Working in harmony with credit unions

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Concentra annual general meeting preview

It’s an honour to host our annual general meeting on May 5 as part of the 2014 Canadian Conference for Credit Union Leaders in Charlottetown, P.E.I. because it means we will have the opportunity to speak directly to the many credit unions in attendance

As a sneak peak, you can expect to hear about results that demonstrate how Concentra delivers value to the credit union system.

For example, Credit Union FX is a new foreign exchange solution that allows credit unions to earn non-interest revenue while offering members real-time, online currency trading, under the credit union’s brand. At Concentra, we are committed to working in harmony with credit unions to optimize profitability, to reduce the risk in their business operations and to expand the suite of financial and trust solutions they offer their members.

We’re excited to share many more examples as well as information about our operations and successes during 2013, and our strategic plans to continue to empower Canada’s credit unions well into the future.

Hope to see you in Charlottetown!

Understanding the increase in mortgage insurance premiums

Effective May 1, 2014, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation* (CMHC) will increase mortgage insurance premiums, imposed on the borrower, by an average
of 15%**. There is a lot of speculation about what this means for the mortgage industry in Canada so, let’s take a look at it.
Continue reading “Understanding the increase in mortgage insurance premiums”

Stay Ahead of Your Member Mortgage Preferences

Fixed rate outshines variable

Studies show that since 1975, borrowers benefitted from choosing variable rate mortgages over fixed rate mortgages 84% of the time. It’s still true today, yet most borrowers now opt for a fixed rate loan. Why?

In 2010, we started to see a shift in borrower preferences when mortgage industry surveys indicated that new business consisted of 68% fixed rate loans, 27% variable rate loans, and 5% of combination rate loans. At that time, the lowest variable rates charged were 3.03%, but the lowest fixed rates were 5.15%. With over a 2% difference, it made sense for borrowers to select a variable rate, which they did.

Continue reading “Stay Ahead of Your Member Mortgage Preferences”

What to Expect for the 2014 Spring Mortgage Season

Another spring mortgage market is upon us. The snow is melting, the days are getting longer and homebuyers are starting to wake from their winter slumber. So what are some of the key themes bubbling up in advance of the 2014 spring mortgage season?

We see two issues emerging that are worthy of some examination. Continue reading “What to Expect for the 2014 Spring Mortgage Season”

Concentra staff fundraising to build Forever Home in Kenya

Concentra is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper, both at home and abroad. In 2013, a group of employees initiated a focused fundraising effort for Mission: 180, an organization committed to make a difference in Kenya by building homes for orphans and widows and in working with them to create a future with education and employment opportunities.

After hearing stories about the need of the Kenyan people from a fellow colleague (who moved to Kenya in 2011 with her family to open and run this registered Canadian charity), inspired Concentra employees were moved to get behind this cause with some big support. A fundraising goal of $50,000 was set to build a Concentra ‘Forever Home’, a safe haven for women and children.

Brick-by-brick, Concentra is building this house through contributions from payroll pledges, jeans days, 50/50 draws, bingos, a turkey dinner, a Christmas Bazaar, and many other activities

“We are pleased to share that we’ve raised over $42,000 to-date,” says Shelley Vigue, Committee Co-chair and Concentra employee. “We are thrilled about the level of support across the company. It has been such a positive experience for us.”

If you want to find out more about this charity and what inspired Concentra staff, check them out at Mission:180 Blogspot and Mission:180 YouTube.

Save the Date! emPOWERING Your Communities Campaign

Campaign Launches March 3, 2014!
Is your credit union championing a program or project that is making a difference in your community? Could it use a financial boost? Nominate it for one of eighteen $10,000 donations from the Concentra Financial emPOWERING Your Communities campaign.

Since the campaign began in 2011, as part of its commitment to Co-operative Social Responsibility, Concentra has donated over $420,000 to 42 of your credit union-led or supported initiatives in 38 different communities across the country. Some of the past winning projects include community gardens, food banks, financial literacy programs, anti-bullying programs, splash parks, and community centres.

“Every year we’re inspired by the community-level leadership of our partner credit unions – as evidenced by the over 140 applications we’ve received to date”, said Mary Beckett, Executive Vice-President at Concentra.

The application will be emailed to your credit union’s CEO and will be available on the Concentra website on March 3, 2014.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Big Picture

Founded on partnership and thriving on co-operation, Concentra exists to work with credit unions, centrals and strategic partners to enhance the success of the credit union system and its members by delivering a full suite of competitive, high quality financial and trust solutions.

In FoCUs to be a fully credit union-centric company, Concentra puts credit unions in the centre of its viewfinder to ensure their interests are at the heart of everything we do.
Continue reading “The Big Picture”