A southwest credit union is moving ahead as part of the first-ever interprovincial credit union merger in Canada. 

Innovation Federal Credit Union announced the possibility earlier this year and issued a statement yesterday confirming steps forward with ABCU Credit Union.

CEO of Innovation, Daniel Johnson, explained that the approval of the business case by both Boards in June is just one step in the direction of the merger.

"Members of each credit union will have to vote, so we plan to start that this fall for ABCU members and in 2025 for Innovation members," he said. "If it's supported by the memberships, then we'll be able to move forward. We're probably looking sometime in 2025 at combining the two credit unions."

ABCU will also have to apply to become a federal credit union, and both institutions have to receive regulatory approvals to pursue merging before membership voting can take place.

If approvals are granted and voting from both memberships is in favour, Innovation Federal Credit Union will have two locations in Alberta, one in Edmonton and the other in Beaumont. This also means the credit union can offer free checking and free banking to Albertans. Innovation's headquarters will remain in Swift Current.

"This is something that's always been a part of our strategy," Johnson added. "We're over 20 credit unions coming together over the last 70 plus years. This is just a natural progression of how we've been able to grow and expand and make sure that we're around for future generations."