UNI: critical and understanding members at the annual general meeting

Nearly 500 UNI members gathered on Saturday for an annual general meeting, a meeting during which discussions mainly focused on the failed transition of the new technological platform of this financial institution in 2023.

This meeting, which made it possible to appoint David Losier as the new president of the board of directors, was an opportunity for many members to express their frustration with the separation between the Acadian cooperative and Desjardins last July.

During the question period, one person notably criticized the lack of communication on the part of the board of directors while the financial institution was in the midst of a crisis, something for which the outgoing president, Pierre-Marcel Desjardins, apologized. .

A long-time member of Lac-Baker, for her part, criticized the many failures of the new technological platform, citing for example the fact that the account statements she obtains at the financial institution’s service counter are now printed in English.

THE CEO from UNI, Camille Thériault, wanted to be reassuring, affirming that the working language of the financial institution is and will remain French. The UNI portal and its tools are constantly evolving and improvements are constantly being made to these systems, he added.

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The CEO of UNI Financial Cooperation, Camille Thériault, recognizes that 2023 was the most difficult year for the cooperative.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pascal Raiche-Nogue

Another person asked how UNI plans to recover the 4,000 customers who abandoned the cooperative.

Many said they were of the opinion that UNI will have a lot of work to do before restoring its image among New Brunswickers who are disappointed with their financial institution.

Among the 477 members who attended the annual general meeting, 143 were in person in Dieppe while 234 people followed this meeting online. Although many had criticisms, not everything was negative.

Met before the start of the meeting, Moncef Lakouass, a member since 2021, indicated that it was important for him to remain united with the financial institution.

As far as I’m concerned, I was a little lenienthe said. I’ve been patient and attentive because at the end of the day, it’s something I care about. And as they say in French, the grass is not greener elsewhere. So I prefer to wait to give time to something that belongs to me to be able to get back up and do better to serve the people here.

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Moncef Lakouass, a member of UNI since 2021, indicated that it was important for him to remain united with the financial institution.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Babatundé Lawani

Aldéa Landry, who has been with UNI for four decades, also recognized that it is not easy to make changes of this magnitude.

It’s not easy to make changes, but things have to evolve. I’m an inveterate member of UNI, so it’s not the glitches that will make me change my mind. I wish them good luck and I know that the little glitches that remain will be resolvedshe explained at the start of the afternoon.

Looking to the future

On Friday, senior management bluntly acknowledged that the past year has been difficult. In 2023, the financial institution recorded a deficit of 3.7 million and experienced a decline in its assets of 1.3%, an amount corresponding to approximately 73 million dollars.

In her speech given Saturday during the annual general meeting, Camille Thériault said it was now time for UNI to turn the page and move on.

The lesson to be learned from this whole affair is to stay close to its members and not try to hide information from them, he said.

He wanted to recall that despite the financial setbacks suffered in 2023, UNI still chose to distribute 2.4 million in collective dividends in the communities of the province. A bank would not have done the same, he argued.

>>David Losier.>>

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David Losier has been elected president of the UNI board of directors.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Babatundé Lawani

Newly elected head of the UNI board of directors, David Losier also said he wanted to look to the future. An accountant by training and a graduate of the University of Moncton, he was not able to explain how he intends to repair the broken problems.

We understand that I am very newly elected and I was not even on the board of directors before today. I am new, I have a lot to learn from my colleagues around the table and I think I bring some experience that could be useful because I have worked with the movement for a long timehe simply said before adding that he promises that UNI will remain a solid financial institution.

The members also chose to place their trust in Bertin Cyr, Marc Henri, Micheline Joyce, Jean-François Saucier and Josette Wedge, who were all elected for a three-year term.

According to the report by Babatundé Lawani

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