Meridian to create online bank

By Andrew Rickard | August 18 2016 01:33PM

Ontario’s largest credit union is preparing to launch a national, digital bank.

On August 17, Meridian announced that it is moving ahead with plans to offer on-line and mobile banking services outside of its home province in 2018.

The new subsidiary will be owned by Meridian's members and shares in its digital bank will not be publicly traded or sold. Meridian says this is an advantage, since the new financial institution will not be subject to the same kind of quarterly earnings per share targets that traditional banks face, and will therefore take a long-term view in terms of how it invests to serve its customers.

A clear desire for an innovative digital bank

"We believe, and our research shows, that there is a clear desire in the marketplace for an innovative digital bank that offers a true full-service alternative to the big banks, says Meridian CEO Bill Maurin. This will be a bank with a real difference. It will be based on the values and commitment to service excellence that has defined credit unions for decades, with an exceptional focus on partnering with our customers to build stronger households, businesses and communities across Canada."

Meridian was formed when the Niagara Credit Union and HEPCOE Credit Union merged in 2005. It now has 270,000 members, 81 branches, and $14 billion of assets under management. The credit union intends to open seven more branches in Ontario by 2017.