It was the middle of the Great Depression and Saskatchewan farms were yielding only ten bushels per acre as the drought wore on. The depressed economy pushed prices down to as little 58 cents a bushel. Against this harsh backdrop, Saskatchewan credit unions were created.
Credit unions offered people and communities an opportunity to control their financial futures. By pooling resources, they helped farming communities survive during the difficult times and thrive when economic conditions got better.
The first credit union in Saskatchewan – and Western Canada – started in 1910 (The Jewish Colonization Association) and the second opened in 1916 (LaCaisse Populaire d'Albertville). It wasn’t until the 1930s, however, that the credit union idea really took hold.
In 1937, the first officially chartered credit union was formed in Regina (Regina Hebrew Savings & Credit Union); the first rural credit union (Lafleche Credit Union) emerged a year later. By the end of 1938, there were 14 credit unions in Saskatchewan.
Today 51 credit unions serve more than 490,000 members through 283 service outlets across the province. Credit unions provide a vital service to Saskatchewan people and act as a stabilizing force for the economy. Employing almost 3,500 people in towns and cities across the province, credit unions have grown into a strong and important part of Saskatchewan’s economy.
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