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Credit Union History

 

The OPPA Credit Union has been in operation for over 40 years! It’s a milestone to be proud of and one that has us reminiscing about our past, about how we came to be the credit union we are today, and how the support of our members has been our driving force.

The original idea of a credit union specifically for the OPP Association came from a group of members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association in the late 1960s. These members, including Ian Robertson, Bill Phillips, Bob McAfee and Jim Hardy, felt that an Association credit union could bring many benefits to its officers and their families. The group did much research and gained support from other members of the Association. In May 1970, at the spring Board meeting of the OPP Association, a motion was passed to further investigate the formation of a credit union.

Over the next six months, the Board members studied the possibility of establishing a credit union. If the Association was going to proceed with this project they needed to have a clear understanding of the tasks involved, had to be sure that they had the resources needed, and that there was enough support to ensure the credit union’s success. At the next meeting in December of 1970, a motion was passed to obtain a Charter for the Ontario Provincial Police Association Credit Union.

On July 16, 1971 the Minister of Financial and Commercial Affairs granted incorporation to the OPPA Credit Union and on September 14, 1971 the credit union was officially recorded as a corporation in the records of the Province of Ontario’s Department of Financial and Commercial Affairs.

Initially, the credit union operated in the area known as Police District No. 7, which covered Bradford, Huntsville, Lake Simcoe, with its office located in Barrie, within the OPPA headquarters. It took only a short time for the credit union to catch on among the officers of the police force, and when it did the credit union experienced rapid growth.  Police District No. 5, which covered the Greater Toronto Area, was added in early 1972. By June of 1972 interest in the OPPA Credit Union had grown so much that the boundaries of operation were expanded to cover the entire Province of Ontario. After its first year of operation, the OPPA Credit Union’s assets stood at $79,000.

To start, things were kept fairly simple at the OPPA Credit Union. There were only one or two part time employees hired and the services offered were only the basics; shares, savings and small loans. It wasn’t until 1973 that the first full time employee, Dorothy Roberston, was hired for the position of bookkeeper. By 1975, the credit union required more space and made the move to the lower floor of the Association’s building. At the end of that year, assets stood at 1.2 million. This success and growth led to the addition of a full time General Manager position which would be filled by Bob McAfee in 1978.

Through the years the OPPA Credit Union employees and Board worked hard to bring additional services and benefits to the members. They often went above and beyond their usual office duties to help members with their financial matters. Their hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed. The OPPA Credit Union experienced incredible growth as more and more of the police force joined the credit union.

On October 4th, 1995 the OPPA credit union became the first credit union to join the national link of automatic teller machines (ATMs). This important advance allowed members to access their accounts at more than 3500 ATMs across Canada. It’s an example of how the credit union continually worked to provide the best for its members.

The OPPA Credit Union’s success continued. In 1996, it was time for a large expansion so the credit union built its own office next door to the Association’s building. This is where the credit union still resides today. The team of staff also grew over the years to the current 28 full time employees, including five financial advisors.

Today, the OPPA Credit Union serves 7800 members with assets of $180 million. Our vision of “providing the OPP family with a lifetime of superior financial experiences” remains at the forefront of each employee’s mind as they provide services and advice on investments, debt management, purchasing a home, planning for retirement and much more. Our focus is always on our members and we strive to be a place for them to turn when they need advice they can trust.

OPPA Credit Union First Board of Directors

President: Fred MacDonald

Vice-President: Edward Ziliotto

Secretary -Treasurer: Bob McAfee

Directors:
Wesley Johnson
Charles Crawford                                                                                                               

Supervisory Committee:
Berdett Cain
James MacDonell
Frank Fraser

Credit Committee:
James Harrod
Ernest Bond
Arthur Hammond