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Moodys Canada CUs chipping at big banks market
TORONTO (4/29/10)--Canada's credit unions are eroding the stranglehold held by the "Big Six" full-service banks in the retail banking market, and Moody's Investors Service says that trend will accelerate if the Canada's government allows credit unions to incorporate on a federal level. A proposal in the Canadian government's budget would allow legislation to amend the Bank Act so that Canada's 419 credit unions can build membership beyond their provinces to build national franchises (Dow Jones April 27). Currently they are limited to staying within their province, but many have formed alliances to build up their service offerings and infrastructure. Credit unions already have significant shares in certain areas, said Moody's analysts. In 2009, credit unions' market share included 16% of retail deposits, 19% of residential mortgages and 13% of Canada's automated clearing settlement system. The government's proposal could accelerate consolidation, but that trend has already been developing for most of the past decade, said Moody's.

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