The CUA Difference

The Better Way to Bank

As a full-service banking institution, CUA offers the same types of financial products and services as a traditional bank. You’ve probably asked yourself is there a difference between a traditional bank and CUA? The short answer is yes, and although CUA is like a bank, a bank is not like CUA.

Below we’ve outlined four key reasons that make CUA the better way to bank.

1. CUA is owned by its members.

CUA is a co-operative—that’s why our “customers” are actually called members. Each member pays $5.00 to open their account which gives them ownership stake in the business.  This provides them an equal share and vote for however long they hold their account. If they choose to leave, their membership share is returned.

Since members are owners, their input has a direct impact on our priorities and operations. As part of our continuous efforts, we ask our members to provide their opinions and experiences in our Annual Member Survey, by attending our Annual General Meetings and through verbal or written feedback at our branches and on our website. The responses we receive help shape the products and services we offer and guide our efforts to provide meaningful experiences to our customers.

2. CUA's profits are reinvested in the business and into the community.

Unlike national banks, CUA isn’t privately owned or publicly traded with third-party shareholders receiving dividends. Any profits we earn we re-invest into our community, and into improved products and services for our members. We are extremely proud of two of our annual initiatives as part of our Community Impact Plan: #10k in a day that supports students investing in their future through post-secondary education, and the Community Investment Grant Program, which provides $100,000 in direct grant funding to Nova-Scotia owned businesses.

We also offer financial literacy sessions as part of our services and invest in empowering individuals in our community through education and outreach. We regularly partner with organizations such as Junior Achievement Nova Scotia and MetroWorks to offer education sessions on financial topics impacting their participants. These sessions can also be booked by any individual or group, and can be tailored to many important financial topics, such as managing credit cards, preventing identity theft, buying a home, planning for retirement or estate planning.

Our website also offers articles, resources and tools, which are available at any time, such as: 3. CUA is part of a broader network of other financial institutions.

CUA partners with a number of financial services companies to ensure its products, services and access meet our members’ needs, which includes THE EXCHANGE® and ACCULINK® networks. These networks enable our members to access their accounts and complete deposits, withdrawals, transfers, balance inquiries and PIN changes at more than 3,200 ATMs across Canada and 40,000 in the United States – all without extra fees and surcharges. Our members can also access their chequing account at ATMs via the Interac® Network (ATMs owned by other financial institutions in Canada) and the PLUS® Network (ATMs owned by other financial institutions outside of Canada). CUA’s affiliation with these networks extends its reach to more than 750,000 ATMs across Canada and around the world.

4. CUA leverages its local roots to personalize its service.

At CUA all of our employees live and work in Nova Scotia, which includes our local corporate office. When someone contacts our call-centre they’re not calling a representative located in a different province or country, they are speaking to someone located here in Halifax—a member of the community. This allows CUA to have in-depth and expert knowledge of the local market and provide personalized service to each and every member.

When it comes to choosing where you bank, we know you're looking for a trustworthy, reliable and affordable partner. With similar qualities and services, like mortgages, personal loans, and mobile banking—CUA and banks have a lot in common. What makes us different is you, our members. To suit our different members needs, we offer flexible products, personalized service, and faster turnaround times.

Revised Nov. 4, 2021

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