Currie’s Corner 606 – March 15, 2018


Currie’s Corner 606 –  March 15, 2018

It will be interesting to see how the Trudeau Liberals do in their pledge to reduce or possibly even eliminate the wage gap between men and women in workplaces that fall under federal jurisdiction. A major sector is banking.

I actually went into a bank a couple of weeks ago. My debit card was worn out and I had to get a replacement. Otherwise, my banking these days is all done online, or at a drive through  ATM. People still try to rob banks occasionally .. because that’s where the money is silly.

It’s certainly the place where the money is if you’re lucky enough to be one of the ‘guys’ who is lucky enough to be a bank president in Canada. They’re all still guys and all of them make way more than a million Loonies a year.

Then there are credit unions which remain very popular, especially on the prairies and in Quebec. When you drive around cities like Winnipeg and Regina, have you noticed that their buildings are generally grander and brighter than bank buildings?

They’re obviously doing OK, but it seems credit unions are losing traction with government. Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government brought down a new budget the other day, and credit unions were ‘blindsided’ by a tax hike that will cost them millions of dollars over the next few years. Governments are searching every little corner for money, and what they found in Manitoba was a special deduction that allowed credit unions to pay a lower rate of tax on a portion of their income. The deduction was introduced at the federal level more than 40 years ago when they were having a harder time competing with chartered banks.

It’s not a move that’s likely to cause them major harm.

Manitoba has 30 credit unions with more than 600,000 members, and total assets of $30 billion. In many smaller communities they are the only places to bank, because the chartered banks abandoned those places a long time ago.

I’m Roger Currie