Summary

Canada’s credit unions have traditionally occupied an important local co-operative niche within the competitive and highly regulated world of financial services. Now, new regulations allow for innovative national initiatives.  The key to success for most credit unions has been to exploit their unique attributes, working with a lean and focussed management team and ensuring that they get the support they need to guide them through all of the complexities of running a financial institution, from regulatory compliance, capitalization, securitization, syndications, leasing, to payments systems and beyond. BLG’s Credit Unions and Cooperatives Group can provide you with the knowledge and advice you need to maneuver the legal and regulatory aspects of financial services as they relate to your institution.

Our Credit Unions and Cooperatives Group has proven national expertise in providing advice to the financial services industry as it applies to:

  • Capitalization, financing, formation and operation of credit unions and cooperative associations
  • Account agreement design and operations advice
  • Privacy law
  • IT procurement and service contracts
  • Payments systems, card products, CPA Rules, and regulatory compliance
  • Taxation, including patronage dividend planning, tax-deferred regimes for cooperative shares and amendments to tax legislation
  • Governance, membership, shares and debt
  • Risk management and litigation support

As a full-service, national law firm, members of the Credit Unions and Cooperatives Group work closely with our lawyers in other specialized areas, including tax, mergers and acquisitions, banking, capital markets, competition, insurance, employment and litigation.

Representative Work

  • Developed or assisted in modification of many of the account operating agreements and operation protocols for multi-provincial and national use by credit unions and banks for both retail consumer banking and business banking.
  • Developed opinions and provided advice for credit unions concerning the interprovincial operation of trust companies and other subsidiaries as owned or controlled by credit unions.
  • Provided advice to credit unions and banks on Anti-Money Laundering ("AML") legislation and regulations for development of compliance regimes and risk management for retail banking and deposit agency relationships.
  • Assisted credit unions and others in regulatory compliance issues with OSFI and Provincial Regulators.
  • Assisted in development of mandatory fidelity insurance program for BC's credit unions, including both opinion work for development of regulation as well as insurance policy coverage and design.
  • Assisted credit unions in the design of executive compensation packages, and litigation support for employment related issues.
  • Developed opinions and provided advice for development of legislated compulsory insurance programs for certain regulated professions, including compliance advice on development of new insurance products designed for consumer protection.
  • Provide internal training seminars to credit unions, banks and financial services industry groups on a wide array of regulatory compliance matters including privacy law, AML, payments systems, retail banking operations, compliance and risk and consumer protection legislation.
  • Represent credit unions and other financial institutions for national and provincial class action defence in matters ranging from significant high profile Ponzi Schemes, card products, mortgage pre-payment, as well as matters ranging from employee fraud to complex claims arising from fraudulent negotiation of payment items.