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Going Dutch at DUCA earns active members generous Bonus Shares

Innovative Credit Union pays high dividends


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

TORONTO, Ontario - A credit union started by Dutch immigrants - which had $236 in assets in Toronto 47 years ago - is aiming for the half billion mark in the next few years. DUCA has modified its name a few times to accurately reflect its organization and purpose (its now DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd.). It now has 26,000 members of which about half have Dutch roots. The cooperative bank has a string of branches in and around Toronto.

Known as an innovator in its field, DUCA, says President and CEO Cees Bijl, tries to identify its customersí needs and respond to these by various programs. One such innovation is the plan to enhance its in-house automated teller machines (ATMís) by making them accessible to the general public through the Interac network. Another is allowing online loan applications on its home banking site on the Internet (www.duca.com).

Increasing competition among financial institutions also has raised expectations among customers. DUCA feels that as a result large banks increasingly appeal to the higher-end consumers who may be willing to absorb rising service fees. DUCA on the other hand is quite happy, it suggests in a 12-page supplement in the national edition of Report Newsmagazine, to serve the average customer.

Internet banking - at least for some services - in effect has enlarged DUCAís territory from the Toronto area to include all of Canada. While DUCA cautions it has restrictions on lending outside Ontario, anyone could benefit for example, from its term deposit services and earn an increasing ownership stake in the credit union. New members opening an account must buy a $50.00 share in DUCA.