2020 was a solid year of financial performance with growth in revenue, Membership base and total relationships
Toronto, Ontario, April 27, 2021 – Meridian, Canada’s second largest credit union and Ontario’s largest, highlighted its agile approach, an adaptive culture and strong financial soundness as key assets in navigating the pandemic at its 16th Annual General Meeting held virtually on Tuesday, April 27th.
“Meridian’s ability to adapt quickly allowed us to find new ways to connect with our Members, while continuing to safeguard their financial security and well being,“ said Bill Maurin, President & CEO, Meridian. “The commitment and resilience of our employees has been nothing short of extraordinary, and on behalf of myself, the executive team and the communities they serve, thank you for your service and dedication. Your passion and commitment kept our business moving forward during this unprecedented challenge to our society.”
“We also thank the Board of Directors for their tremendous diligence and support as we constantly respond to the pandemic while also continuing to advance our long-term strategies,” added Maurin.
For 2021, there were four positions to be filled on the Board. The successful candidates are Ian Cunningham, Karen Farbridge, Bruce West and new Board Director Suanne Nielsen.
“Meridian embraces the benefits of diversity in the Board room and we are very pleased to have achieved the important milestone of gender parity with the addition of Suanne Nielsen,” said Karen Farbridge, Board Chair, Meridian. “Current Directors reflect gender and racial diversity, as well as a wide range of expertise and experience. We continue our journey to build a diverse Board – one that aligns with the makeup and needs of our communities for today and tomorrow.”
Suanne Nielsen brings more than 20 years of human resources expertise with Foresters Financial in progressively senior roles, including Senior Vice President & Chief Talent Officer. She is currently President and Board Chair at Strategic Capability Network, a Canadian association offering thought leadership and community for Human Resources professionals and executives. She also brings governance experience from other not-for-profit and association boards including United Way, Daily Bread Food Bank, and the American Fraternal Alliance.
Director Ken Bolton retired from the Board after providing dedicated service to Meridian since being first elected in 2015. Ken has served on the Governance, Nominating and Risk Committees and most recently as the Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee for five years.
The following Directors were appointed as committee chairs until the next Annual General Meeting:
Audit & Finance: Bruce West
Governance: Hari Panday
Human Resources: Tamara Paton
Nominating: Larry Doran
Risk: Gail Harding
Financial and growth highlights:
The following are some notable highlights from 2020:
Total assets under management – which includes both our on-balance sheet assets as well as our wealth portfolio – grew by 11% to $26.5 billion which was an increase of $2.5 billion over 2019;
Consolidated pre-tax earnings were $67.2 million, with year-over-year improvements in both revenue and expense performance;
Increased provisions for expected credit losses reduced year-over-year earnings and are directly attributable to the expected impacts of the pandemic on future loan performance.
Balance sheet assets grew by 10% to $23.1 billion, which was an increase of $2.1 billion over 2019, reflecting growth in Retail mortgages and Commercial lending and increased liquidity arising from Member deposit growth;
Total relationships reached $37.1 billion at the end of 2020, with growth of $1.9 billion over the year;
Meridian’s Membership base grew by over 9,000 and motusbank saw membership growth of over 3,400.
In September 2020, Meridian extended its signature My Commitment to Communities Program with the Meridian Donation Match Program in support of vulnerable communities across Ontario impacted by COVID-19. Led by Meridian's Board of Directors, Meridian matched Member contributions to donate $300,000 to Food4Kids Ontario and HelpAge Canada.
Meridian launched a first-of-its-kind Hybrid Mortgage, which combines a loan with a conventional mortgage. That creative mix makes it easier to qualify for a mortgage, so our Members can get into their dream home sooner.
Meridian and Thinking Capital announced a strategic partnership to expand small business lending solutions in Ontario. It allows small business owners to apply for a loan online, receive a credit decision in real time, and have funds in their account just days later.
Through the federal government’s Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program, Meridian authorized over $225 million in these loans, to well over 4,000 Members in 2020. We were also prepared to administer loans under the EDC, BDC and HASCAP programs, with collective authorizations under those programs up to $70 million.
Through Meridian OneCap, our leasing business, we helped over 3,800 lessees, representing $224 million in lease receivables, through a payment abatement program.
In June 2020, Meridian received national recognition as the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) Innovation Award for Price Drop. The free service, the first of its kind in Canada, automates the traditionally time-consuming process of price matching for retail purchases by following three easy steps.
For more information, see Meridian’s Annual Report for 2020.
With more than 75 years of banking history, Meridian is Ontario’s largest credit union and the second largest in Canada, helping to grow the lives of more than 370,000 Members and customers. Meridian has $26.5 billion in assets under management (as at December 31, 2020) and delivers a full range of financial services online, by phone, by mobile and through a network of 89 branches across Ontario, and business banking services in 15 locations. Meridian cardholders have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE® Network and the Allpoint Network in the United States. For more information, please visit: meridiancu.ca, follow us on Twitter @MeridianCU or see our Facebook site.
Teresa Pagnutti, Public Relations, Meridian