Canadian banks are classified by various categories such as ownership, products and service offers, and operation mode. Financial service organizations that offer banking services in Canada are generally known as banks and include banks (traditional and online banks), credit unions, trusts, and other financial institutions.
Concentra Bank is a schedule one bank in Canada, providing wholesale banking and trust solutions to Canadian credit unions. The financial institution also provides commercial and consumer banking solutions to individuals and corporate organizations.
Unlike other traditional and virtual banks and credit unions in Canada, Concentra Bank provides specialized services to its customers and affiliates. Here’s how it works.
What is Concentra Bank Canada?
Concentra Bank is a Schedule one (domestic-owned) chartered bank, exclusively owned by credit union partners to provide wholesale banking (financial and capital market) and trust solutions to credit unions across Canada (except Québec) and also offer commercial banking services to individuals and businesses or brokers.
About Concentra Bank
Credit unions operate as a cooperative non-profit financial institution, owned and controlled by their members to provide personal and business banking solutions, including loans, savings and chequing accounts. However, due to the Canadian Bank Act’s financial regulations, credit unions are restricted in size and financial capabilities and cannot compete favourably with the big banks.
Concentra Bank was established as a strategic partner and service provider to credit unions in Canada to bridge the gap between these big banks and credit unions and provide unhindered services to their customers.
Concentra was first established in 2005 as a federally regulated financial Cooperative Retail Association under the Co-operative Credit Association Act (CCAA). This establishment resulted from a merger of the Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan (SaskCentral) and Cooperative Trust.
In 2017 January, as part of the bank’s continuance under the Canadian Bank Act and by approval from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial institutions (OSFI), Concentra metamorphosed from a Cooperative Retail Association to a schedule one chartered bank, with a special focus on providing financial services to Canada’s credit unions.
Concentra Bank is poised to help credit unions in Canada compete favourably with the big banks by providing them with leasing and investment solutions. Hence, it is safe to say that Concentra Bank is the central bank of credit unions in Canada.
Currently, Concentra Bank claims to serve over 85 percent of Canadian credit unions and has remained a strong, stable, national financial institution with robust wholesale and trust solutions.
You might wonder if the bank’s operation is only meant for credit unions. Quick surf to the bank’s web page reveals that the bank provides wholesale, trust, and leasing services to individual account holders and businesses, as well as customers of their credit union partners.
The bank provides retail financial services to its customers spread across the Canadian regions through its credit union partnership. The bank’s strength comes from its deep root in the cooperative system, geared towards providing shared value in serving communities across Canada.
Concentra Bank Canada Products and Services
Since its establishment, Concentra Bank Canada has been a leading provider of wholesale banking and trust solutions to credit unions while also offering commercial and consumer banking solutions to individuals, businesses, and brokers.
In partnership with some fintech companies, the bank provides specialized products and services, including mortgages, commercial lending, foreign exchange, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), cash and wealth management, and leasing.
Concentra Bank’s claim of being a solution hub for credit unions in Canada is evident in its wholesale banking, trust solutions, and equipment leasing services.
Individual and business account holders also have access to trust solutions, mortgage and deposit solutions, investment and brokerage, and equipment leasing services.
1. Wholesale Banking (Credit Unions)
Concentra’s Wholesale Banking services are tailored solutions for its credit union partners’ unique investment needs, risk parameters, and business objectives. These are:
The capital market is a market for buying and selling financial instruments; however, credit unions may be unable to access the market independently due to regulatory and size restrictions. As a result, Concentra Bank as a national financial wholesaler to credit unions offers capital market services to credit unions and their customers in managing risks and lending/investing needs. This is achieved through:
Foreign Exchange Solutions
Forex solutions is an advanced online currency trading platform, known as ConcentraFx, for credit unions to trade major currencies, including CAD, USD, EUR, and more. ConcentraFx aims to provide real-time pricing from multiple liquidity providers at competitive pricing, enabling credit unions to provide 24 hours online currency trading to their commercial account holders.
A derivative is a contract between two or more parties based on an underlying financial asset, index, or security such as bonds, commodities, stocks, currencies, or indexes. Concentra Bank offers two types of Derivative instruments to credit unions – Interest Rate Swaps and Bond Forward.
Concentra Bank offers wholesale business capital and liquidity, risk management and lending/investing services to credit union partners’ members by working with Credit Unions to effectively manage and invest their cash resources. This is achieved through:
Credit Union Direct Lending
This is a floating rate re-advanceable loan through loan instruments at credit union loan rates. The bank also partners with other lenders to provide larger credit facilities to credit unions.
Deposit Referral Program (DRP)
This program is designed for credit union members to access Concentra deposit products while the credit union receives an annual DRP payment. Deposits are CDIC insured and include GICs, RESP, RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, LIRA, LIF, RLIF, etc.
Concentra Bank Canada offers various investment options, which include:
- Overnight investment accounts for the Canadian dollar (CAD) and US dollar (USD). The interests accrued on these investment accounts are calculated daily and paid monthly.
- Credit unions can also use their surplus funds for redeemable and non-redeemable Canadian dollar term deposits and US dollar term deposits.
- A Credit Union Revolving Deposit Account with high interests for saving the excess funds of Credit Unions.
- A Special Deposit for a short or long term, redeemable or non-redeemable, and fixed or floating term deposit products.
Commercial lending solutions are designed to improve the financial performance and diversify the risks of credit unions. By facilitating the purchase or sale of assets from or to credit unions at competitive pricing and scalable solutions, credit unions are offered several financial strategies, including:
- Funding strategies
- Capital management strategies
- Risk management strategies
- Profit generation strategies
Strategic Financial Management
Concentra Bank conducts risk simulations to optimize credit unions’ balance sheet performance using the four pillars of balance sheet management (Capital, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity, and Profitability). The financial management services include:
- Balance sheet management strategies
- Interest rate risk simulation
- Derivative management
- Investment management
- Asset liability committee (ALCO)
This involves the combination of various debt obligations (such as residential mortgages, auto loans, or credit cards) into one consolidated debt instrument or security (such as a bond). Concentra Bank aids credit unions to issue securitization products and asset-backed securities.
Concentra Bank’s Residential Markets solutions are designed for individual account holders’ mortgage needs and credit unions’ balance sheet performance enhancement, capital management, and asset diversification. With its dedicated Mobile Mortgage Specialists, the bank provides a wide range of mortgage products, which clients can choose – fixed-term mortgage or variable term mortgage.
The Concentra mortgage services include:
- Mortgage Referral Program
- Residential Mortgage Pools
2. Trust Solutions
Trust solutions are specialized personalized services for trustee needs.
Concentra Bank provides professional and impartial trustee services to help credit unions, businesses/brokers and their clients with several corporate solutions. Corporate trust services include:
- Escrow Trust services – Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) Escrow, Software and Source Code Escrow, and Share Escrow.
- Profit-Sharing Plans – Employee Plans and Deferred Plans.
- Corporate Issuances – bonds, debentures, and company-issued certificates.
- Cemetery and Funeral Trust for cemetery boards and funeral homes to safe keep their funds.
- Retirement Compensation Arrangements.
- First Nations/aboriginal Trust.
- Custodianship (third party asset holding and account management)
- Custodian service for mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
- Forest Renewal Trust accounts
- Self-funded leave arrangements
Estates and Trusts
Concentra Bank estate and trust services are provided through Concentra Trust. The bank administers a range of trust solutions tailored to meet all clients’ needs at competitive fees. The client solutions service includes trustees and trust administration, powers of attorney and property guardianships, executors and estate administration.
3. Equipment Leasing
Equipment leasing solutions are designed to provide individual account holders and businesses with the equipment needed for every job.
Concentra Bank Canada works with credit unions to provide commercial equipment leasing and financing solutions structured to any business’s specific needs and cash flow cycle. The bank also ensures quick and easy management of equipment leases and boasts a state of the art leasing system capable of managing the full asset finance transaction life cycle.
If you have a business or personal need of pieces of equipment, rather than worrying about the cost of purchase, you can take full advantage of the bank’s leasing services to access different equipment types. Leasable equipment types include:
- Agriculture equipment.
- Construction, mining, and energy sector equipment.
- Golf course – turf equipment.
- Semi-trucks and trailers.
- Machine tools.
- Medical, laboratory, and diagnostic equipment.
- Material handling equipment, and more.
Concentra Bank’s commercial leasing and finance service is designed for commercial clients, public and private sector enterprises, and professionals that require equipment, technology, and infrastructure financing. Clients of the bank enjoy operating lines of credit, competitive rates, collaborative approaches, syndicated financing, and personalized services.
Concentra Bank leasing options include:
- Variable-rate options
- US currency offering
- Syndicated services
- Stretch lease
- Seasonal skip payments
- Step-up or step-down option
- Three-month skip lease
- Select conditional sales contracts and equipment.
Concentra Bank’s leasing solutions present an opportunity for business owners to provide customers with attractive business alternatives, reduce their cost of ownership, conserve operating capital, and reduce taxes.
4. Deposit Solutions
Concentra Bank deposit services are of two categories:
Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
Concentra Bank offers GIC investment options with flexible, secure, and guaranteed returns at competitive rates. Concentra Bank GIC products include redeemable and non-redeemable term GICs:
|Available Plans||Minimum Deposit|
(Cashable before maturity)
(1-5 Year Terms,
not redeemable before maturity)
Concentra Bank serves as trustees for over 800,000 Registered Plan contracts in the credit union system, which is about $14 billion in deposits. With a range of investment products and solutions, the bank’s customers can access the various product offers, including registered Plan (RRSP, TFSA, RESP, and RRIF) and Self-Directed RRSP and RRIFs.
Concentra Bank registered plan services include:
- Credit Union Program (CU) – Credit Union Retirement Savings Plan (CURSP), Credit Union Retirement Income Fund (CURIF), and Credit Union Tax-Free Savings Account (CUTFSA).
- Credit Union Deposit Program (CUDP) – CUDP, RESP
- Deposit Referral Program (DRP) – GICs, RESP, RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, RLSP, RLIF, MB RRIF, LIRA, LIF, and more.
- Self-Directed Registered Plans – GICs, Bonds, Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF) shares, Credit Union shares, and cash.
Concentra Bank Safety Regulations
Concentra Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). As a result, some eligible products of the bank, including deposits, enjoy CDIC coverage.
For feedback and requests, you can access the bank’s products and service information through:
Mail: 333, 3rd Avenue North
S7K 2M2, SK
As a schedule one chartered bank, Concentra Bank provides unique and specialized services to credit unions and individual and business organizations. If you need a mortgage, trust, and equipment leasing, Concentra Bank might be the suitable bank for you. However, unlike other traditional or online banks in Canada, the bank does not offer conventional banking or deposit products, such as savings and chequing accounts.
What is the minimum GIC investment amount?
The minimum investment for Concentra Bank GIC is 1000 CAD.
Who owns Concentra Bank?
The Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan owns Concentra Bank Canada.