189286 Canada Inc., operating as CUCC, provides services to Canada’s credit unions, caisses populaires (outside of Quebec), and regional Central organizations.

Our beginning – Canadian Central

Credit Union Central of Canada (“Canadian Central“) was incorporated by a Special Act of Parliament in 1953. Canadian Central was a federally regulated financial institution under the Cooperative Credit Associations Act (Canada). At inception, it was owned and controlled by 10 provincial centrals and was established as the national central or a “central of centrals”. It held a national liquidity pool and operated as the Group Clearer for the credit union system. For a period of time, until the late 1980s, Canadian Central was a major supplier of wholesale financial services to the Canadian credit union system. This role began to diminish when Canadian Central suffered a series of setbacks in the 1980s due to several large loan losses together with a significant loss on securities arising from the events of Black Monday, October 19, 1987. Gradually, provincial centrals began to take control and ownership of key aspects of Canadian Central’s operations.

A significant change in the scale of Canadian Central’s operations took place with the establishment of the national liquidity fund in 1998. The new national liquidity arrangements essentially decentralized the former national liquidity pool, so that assets that had been on the books of Canadian Central were transferred to the books of provincial centrals. As a result, the balance sheet of Canadian Central was dramatically reduced in size.

Canadian Central also began to divest itself of some ownership interests. Partly this was motivated by a desire to de-risk the organization. In 2003, for instance, Canadian Central withdrew from virtually all ownership involvement with Credential Securities. In 2007, Canadian Central sold the assets of Canadian Cooperative Financial Services Association – an agricultural lending affiliate which was a longstanding, profitable, but odd fit with the Canadian Central organization.

The birth of CCUA

Over time Canadian Central’s focus shifted to its trade services role. In 2011, Canadian Central terminated the National Liquidity Fund Agreement and transferred responsibility as Group Clearer to Central 1. With the transfer of these last financial institution functions, Canadian Central began to position itself as the national trade association for Canada’s credit unions.

In 2014, the Canadian Credit Union Association Cooperative (CCUA) incorporated under the Canada Cooperatives Act as the unregulated vehicle to house the national trade association.

Also in 2014, the Government of Canada announced through its Economic Action Plan 2014 (subsequently formalized through Bill C-43) a commitment to clarify the federal regulatory regime for credit unions. These plans included the federal government’s intention to repeal Part XVI of the Cooperative Credit Association Act, a consequence of which was that OSFI would cease its supervision of provincial centrals, a status that they enjoyed through their membership in Canadian Central.  The legislation also set a deadline for Canadian Central to wind itself up as a financial institution.

189286 Canada Inc. (o/a CUCC)

On December 30, 2015, Canadian Central was continued as a corporation under the Canada Business Corporation Act (Canada) with the legal name 189286 Canada Inc. operating under the name CUCC. The five provincial and regional centrals are the shareholders of CUCC and the CEO of each central is represented on the Board.

On January 1, 2016, most of the assets of the former Canadian Central (not including the INTERAC associated assets) were transferred to CCUA. The INTERAC membership and Acxsys shareholding remained in CUCC on the understanding that the remaining payments related functions of CUCC would eventually be transferred to a system owned national payments company (Payco).

The national effort to establish Payco did not move forward and CUCC continued to deliver services to credit unions and represent the system at INTERAC through a Management Services Agreement with CCUA. Under this agreement, the CCUA Managed Services & Network Compliance team delivered CUCC’s payment network compliance services and associated activities.

In 2019, the CUCC Board undertook a governance review which ultimately resulted in the five central shareholders signing a Unanimous Shareholders Agreement.  That USA called for direct credit union representation on the CUCC Board. In December 2020, four credit union representatives were appointed to the CUCC Board to join the five central representatives.

A decision of that Board was to transition the Managed Service & Network Compliance team from CCUA and back into CUCC with an effective date of January 1, 2022.