On the heels of announcing merger talks with Amaranth Credit Union, Access Credit Union will now enter similar discussions with Casera and Carpathia Credit Unions.

Larry Davey is President and CEO of Access. 

"Casera is a credit union located in southeast Winnipeg and they have three branches. Carpathia is a closed bond Ukrainian credit union located throughout the city of Winnipeg and they have five branches. They are both of a size that their membership will have to vote. But our membership will not have to vote."

Access members are not required to vote since its portion of assets represents more than 90% of the proposed new entity's asset size. 

According to a news release by Access, as of July 2022 there are 19 credit unions in Manitoba: seven in Winnipeg and 12 in the surrounding areas.

Casera was incorporated in 1951 as the employee credit union of the CNR Transcona Shops. Since then, it has grown to three branches in Transcona and St Vital with more than $501 million in assets and almost 12,000 members. 

"A merger between Casera and Access would add financial strength to the organization while providing our members with the benefits of a province-wide branch network, enhanced products and services, and technologies that meet their growing needs," noted Robert Riddell, Casera's Board Chair. "It would also guarantee positions for all our employees and expand their career opportunities." 

With over $600 million in assets, and more than 12,000 members, Carpathia was founded in 1940, merging with North Winnipeg Credit Union in 2019.

"We have worked with Access in the past, and these discussions are a natural extension of the great working relationship we have had with them," said Carpathia Board Chair, Don Cilinsky. "As we progress through these talks, we are looking to discover even more benefits to our members, employees, and communities."

Leaders from both financial institutions began merger discussions with Access earlier this year. Upon completion of the due diligence process currently underway, the respective boards at Casera and Carpathia may recommend a merger with Access which would trigger a vote for membership approval in the fall of 2022. 

Davey says for the past ten years, Access has focused on its members, its staff and its community, adding, the credit unions at Casera and Carpathia are like-minded.

"They see the opportunity to join us and collaborate with us going forward. They know that the scale that we all bring together, it creates greater purchasing power for our members as far as reducing costs. I know our staff takes a great deal of pride in what they have created and are really happy that there are other credit unions that want to collaborate and join with us."

Earlier in 2022, Access merged with Noventis and Sunova Credit Unions to become the largest credit union in Manitoba with more than $10.4 billion in assets.