The Steinbach Credit Union had a relatively strong year, despite some challenging circumstances. 

That is according to Chief Executive Officer Glenn Friesen. The SCU held their annual general meeting Tuesday evening.  

Friesen says the event flowed smoothly and, for the first time ever, they webcast the whole AGM for members that could not attend in person.  

Looking back at the year, Friesen says the SCU saw a 5.7 percent growth in deposits and a 4.6 percent growth in overall assets, bringing their total to $9.54B. 

“You know, it was a little slower growth than in the previous years, but that said, we're still had about twice the growth of the Manitoba Credit Union System. So, all-in-all it has been a solid, good year.” 

Friesen says some of this growth is from consumer members, but he notes many businesses are also turning to the Steinbach Credit Union. He says they added 5,028 members in the last 12 months and they are now serving a total of 110,000 members with over 500 employees across three branches.  

Overall, Friesen says he believes this continued growth can be attributed to the solid foundation that the SCU is built on. 

“Our focus on organic growth and organizational efficiency has allowed us to remain financially strong in the Manitoba market.” He adds “we try and offer advice-based information for our members, and we like to help them through any difficult times that they go through. We want to be there for the members, that's who we're here for.” 

Solid growth comes with member bonuses. Friesen says “this year we bumped it up to $12M and so it should be really good news for all of our members, they'll get all of that in their accounts either today (Wednesday) or tomorrow.” 

“The breakdown of this allocation will be 60% to deposit holders and 40% to credit holders. As an example, if a member paid $5,000 in interest on their mortgage in 2023, they can expect an approximate bonus of $64.50, which equates to a 1.29% bonus on interest already paid.” 

Friesen says the last few years have not been easy. 

“We've had 3 tough years with COVID and then with very low interest rates and then very high interest rates. The low interest rates, of course, were really tough for our retirees who want to live off their interest. Now the higher interest rates make it tough for our borrowers. We work with all of our members, we try and help them get through this, we hope things stabilize.” 

At this year’s SCU Annual General Meeting, the membership re-elected board members Doris Martens, Bruce Penner, and Maria Reimer. 

The Board of Directors elected Maria Reimer as Board Chair, Bruce Penner as First Vice-Chair, and Chris Goertzen as Second Vice-Chair. 

Friesen notes “This year, the three incumbents got reelected, that is pretty typical of the Steinbach Credit Union, once you're an incumbent, you often get reelected.”