Mainstreet Credit Union was formed when four credit unions located in Goderich, Middlesex-London, Chatham, and Sarnia decided to merge. As a cooperative financial institution, Mainstreet is owned by its members and governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. “Every person that banks with Mainstreet is part owner of the company,” shares Janet Grantham, President and CEO. “The board and staff are accountable for directing the affairs of the credit union in the best interest of our members, which means they are focused on people, not profit.”
Mainstreet offers full financial services including ATMs across Canada and internationally, personal banking, mortgages, loans, investment services, financial planning, and commercial, agricultural, and business financial services. Mainstreet has 12 branches in southwestern Ontario and five are located in Sarnia-Lambton. Mainstreet’s financial advisors do not work on commission, which means members get financial advice and plans that are right for them, not the bank’s bottom line. “We offer free financial advice sessions with a qualified advisor, and many of the agricultural lenders and advisors are farmers themselves, so they understand the specific needs and challenges of the agricultural business.”
Investing in their members is what makes Mainstreet so unique. Advisors take the time to understand their members’ goals and dreams before developing a financial plan or recommending financial services. Instead of directing members to a call centre, a single Mainstreet branch representative or financial advisor takes care of their members’ financial needs. “We are focused on providing excellent service, advice, and expertise so members will reach out and talk to us before any big life and financial changes,” explains Grantham. Mainstreet members receive and take part in the organization’s profit-sharing. Profit shares are paid once a year based on the profitability of the credit union and each member’s volume of business throughout the year.
Many cooperatives believe in the importance of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others and their community, and Mainstreet is no exception. They support local community non profits, including the United Way, hospitals, events, and more. Mainstreet sponsors and donates financially, but they also encourage their staff to be active members of the community by volunteering together. They also sponsor the Sarnia Sting Junior Fans program in which a junior hockey fan receives a behind-the-scenes insider experience.
Member convenience is a priority for Mainstreet, so they are connected to a network of over 3,500 ATMs worldwide. They also have a mobile app, online banking, and telephone banking available for their members. “With branches across Sarnia-Lambton, as well as Chatham, Middlesex and Goderich, we understand the personal, business and agricultural financial needs of individuals in our communities, which means we can better serve our members. We are proud to invest in our members and our local communities.”