Government Relations

Bank, Banker, Banking Terminology

You may have heard in the news, on social media, or through Kindred’s communications about an interpretation earlier this year of Bank Act restrictions that would prohibit credit unions from using the terms “bank”, “banker”, and “banking”.

We thought you might be interested in an update and the background on this issue and so we’ve included below a timeline that lists all the actions that have occurred to date.


June 30, 2017 – The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) publishes an advisory that details their strict interpretation of Bank Act restrictions regarding use of the terms “bank”, “banker”, and “banking” by credit unions.
July 4, 2017 – Kindred shares on our perspective and Canadian Credit Union Association’s (CCUA) response to the advisory.
July 13, 2017 – Kindred’s chief executive officer (CEO), Brent Zorgdrager, is quoted on the issue on CBC News.
July 15, 2017 – Kindred’s CEO is quoted on the issue in The Record.
July to September 2017 – Credit unions across the country, including Kindred, wrote, emailed, and met with local Members of Parliament (MPs) to express concerns regarding the impact of the advisory.
August 11, 2017 – The Department of Finance launches Second Stage of Consultations on Federal Financial Sector Framework, and includes the issue in the consultation. As a result, OSFI suspends the compliance expectations set out in its June 30 Advisory.
August 24, 2017 – Kindred shares on our reaction to the government review of the issue, including reference to OSFI suspending their compliance expectations.
September 29, 2017 – The consultation closes and 140 individual submissions have been made by credit unions across Canada, including Kindred. You can view our submission here.
October 17, 2017 – Credit union representatives from across the country, including Kindred, discuss the banking terminology issue with federal legislators in over 132 meetings as a part of the largest ever Credit Unions Hike the Hill event in Ottawa.
November 8, 2017 – The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, states that the approach to resolving the issue will, “ensure that they [credit unions] can maintain the appropriate usage of terms that customers [members] have come to associate with their business” at a meeting of the House Finance Committee.
December 20, 2017 – The parliamentary committee that advises the government on budgetary measures has added its voice to those calling for credit unions to be able to continue to use the verbs “bank” and “banking.” Read the December CCUA press release here.
January 2, 2018 – Influential commons committee supports credit unions on banking terms. Read the January announcement here.
February 28, 2018 – Federal Government provides flexibility for Canadian credit unions to continue using the terms “bank” and “banking.” Read the February CCUA press release here.
August 14, 2018 – The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued a communication that acknowledges credits unions are exempt from a 2017 advisory that outlined how OSFI interprets Bank Act restrictions on the use of the terms bank, banker, and banking. This is a positive and expected step.

Links to Key Communications (also included in the text above)

OSFI Communication Confirming Exemption

OSFI Advisory

CCUA Response to OSFI Advisory

OSFI Notice of Suspension

CCUA Reaction to Parliamentary Committee support

Report of the Standing Committee on Finance


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