If community involvement is the measure of a credit union’s effectiveness, then TCU Financial Group is a shining example of these grassroots institutions. Started in 1952, TCU has its origins in the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF). “Teachers had a difficult time borrowing money from the banks, especially for something as nontangible as education,” explains Dale Smith, TCU’s executive manager. “The STF then started lending money to teachers for education-related expenses. Eventually, this group became the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Savings and Credit Union and, later, TCU Financial Group.”
TCU has kept pace with profound changes in the Saskatchewan region. Previously, the province centred around a rural- and agricultural-based economy. New upticks in oil and gas, mining, and innovation are redefining Saskatchewan’s role in the world.
“The new Saskatchewan is a great place to live and work, and TCU is growing with the province,” says Morris Smysnuik, TCU’s CEO. “Our membership is open to all Saskatchewan residents, and we assist them in reaching their financial potential in this robust and growing economy.”
TCU has thrived in this environment of change through its core principles of purpose, passion, and promise. Through purpose, TCU helps members realize their financial potential through superior customer service, as well as competitive products and services. Passion refers to TCU’s dedication to creating lifelong relationships with members, as the credit union features progressive financial solutions that effectively meet financial needs. Finally, TCU promises to provide a value-added experience by helping members achieve their financial goals.
“Our efforts are reflected in our advertising tagline: We’ll help you get there,” Smysnuik says. “We do this by understanding and anticipating members’ needs, treating them as valued clients, and then offering expert advice and solutions. Meanwhile, our progressive services and products—everything from checking accounts to loans—are accessible, easy to use, and competitively priced.”
Technology figures prominently in TCU’s membership commitment. For instance, online banking has become a fundamental tool, while connecting to TCU services via smartphone has become a popular new feature. “Our members have access to the most up-to-date technological features,” Smith says.
Such advances are matched by TCU’s civic activism. The credit union is committed to the communities in which it works. For example, TCU’s board of directors distributes funds to nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, recreation, arts, and health. In addition, staff members get paid time off to support community initiatives—everything from coaching youth-sports teams to sitting on the boards of local charities. TCU was also a major contributor to the construction of a children’s hospital in Saskatoon.
Growth continues to be a major emphasis for the credit union. “TCU will remain foremost in the provision of leading-edge financial products and services,” Smysnuik says. “By adhering to our objectives of delivering outstanding service and pricing, we’re confident that we will continue to experience market leading growth and member satisfaction.” _a