Your History

Ours is a tradition of broad grass roots support and an abiding commitment to our community.  As we plan for the challenges of the future, it is fitting to reflect on the past, taking heart from the initiative and courage of our forbearers.  This reflection on our past is in tribute to those people who were responsible for laying the groundwork which provided the foundation for the professional service we offer today to the people of our communities.

A Legacy of Caring

The year was 1935 and times were hard.  Cape Breton coal mines cut shifts and the steel plant struggled to attract business.  Poverty was a growing threat and hunger was fearful.

It was during these difficult economic times that the credit union movement was born.  As the idea of membership in a collective agency caught on across the country, a small group of Sydney citizens joined forces to form Sydney Credit Union.  Their vision was economic revival for the community.  By pooling their money, they made it possible for those in need to draw on the funds.

The spirit of caring and commitment that founded Sydney Credit Union so many years ago remains the cornerstone of the institution today.

A Look Back At Sydney Credit Union's History

November 16, 1935 - a small group of Sydney citizens pool their money to open Sydney Credit Union.

Within six weeks, 69 members sign up.

Two weeks later, the first two loans are made, one for $10 and one for $20.

1936 - membership grows to 262, with 149 loans totalling $7,055.

1938 - the credit union operates full time hours.

1952 - Sydney Credit Union buys and renovates a building on the corner of Townsend  Street, this site continues to house the main branch of Sydney Credit Union today.

1953 - first electric posting machine was installed.

Assets surpass the million dollar mark.

1964 - the credit union becomes an approved lender for government guaranteed Canada Student Loans.

Late 1960's - membership exceeds 4,500 and assets surpass $2 million.

1971 - a new buidling is erected which continues to be the main branch today.

1975 - Sydney Credit Union becomes unionized.

1976 - its first computer system is installed.

1977 - the Sydney River branch on Kings Road opens.

1980's - Sydney Credit Union adds Lines of Credit, Term Deposits and Mortgages to its product offering.

1990 - Sydney Credit Union installs the very first credit union ATM in Nova Scotia.

1993 - Sydney Credit Union is instrumental in bringing the Choices Program, a stay in school program, to the local school board.

1993 - Sydney Credit Union purchases the assets of Louisbourg Credit Union.

1996 - introduces TeleService® Telephone Banking.

1998 - introduces MemberDirect® Online Banking.

1999 - official opening of the Sydney Credit Union Room (CE265) at the Cape Breton University.

2000 - introduce a number of services including; MemberCARE Financial Services, a financial planning service for credit union members, commercial lending, and Inter-Credit Union Service, and created the position of Marketing Manager.

2001 - create the position of Manager, Community Economic Development to manage the commercial lending function.

2003 - open a full service Sydney River branch in a new loaction on Kings Road in Sydney River and launched the  first drive thru ATM in the Sydney area.

2005 - official opening of the Sydney Credit Union Community Board Room in the Crowell's Building on Charlotte Street in Sydney.

2006 - created the Cooperative Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee and created Sydney Credit Union's Five Star SuccessTM Program, a distribution formula for Sydney Credit Union's stakeholders.

2007 - began the process to develop the Sydney Credit Union Charitable Foundation and created the Branch Manager position for the main branch of Sydney Credit Union.

2007 - Sydney Credit Union Partners with the Cape Breton Regional Victoria School Board and Lifesaving Society of Canada to deliver the Sydney Credit Union Swim To Survive program.

2008 - Purchases the assets of Main-A-Dieu Credit Union.

2010 - Sydney Credit Union celebrates its 75 anniversary and wins the prestigious Coady Award.

2012 - Sydney Credit Union starts its Dealer Finance program.

2012 - Sydney Credit Union wins the Better Business Bureau "Atlantic Business Ethics Award" for businesses with 16-50 employees.

2013 - Sydney Credit Union marks a milestone of given over $5 million dollars back to our members through our Member rebate program since 1997.

2013 - Membership of Sydney Credit Union and Whitney Credit Union voted unanimously for amalgimation.

2015 - Sydney Credit Union unveiled our brand new Fat Cat mascot at Lumiere.

For a more detailed, interactive timeline, complete with many hostorical photos, please visit our Facebook page at