HALIFAX, Novia Scotia (1/6/11)--The creation of Atlantic Central results in a business combination that benefits 61 Canadian credit unions with 1,500 employees and more than 340,000 credit union members in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Each Canadian province has a central credit union. Centrals are similar to corporate credit unions and credit union service organizations in the U.S. The creation of Atlantic Central is the end-product of more than two years of work on the part of each provincial central office, in cooperation with regulators in each province, said Bernie O’Neil, president/CEO of Atlantic Central (TheDailyGleaner Jan. 5). Atlantic Central provides banking, treasury and other services to member credit unions. Atlantic Central deals directly with credit unions and isn’t a retail operation, he said. “We’ll have the ability to syndicate larger loans among credit unions,” O’Neil told the publication. “A larger group of credit unions would participate in particular loans as opposed to one or two credit unions and thereby be able to spread the risk throughout the region.” All employees of the three combining centrals were offered positions in the new central, said O’Neil. The headquarters for the new operation will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The change will result in improved services for credit unions, such as more consistent products across the region, better cost control as a region because much business is volume driven, back-office economies of scale, and better marketing, O’Neil added.