Account Operation / Legal

The Energy Credit Union Limited (hereinafter referred to as TECU or Credit Union)

In Consideration of THE ENERGY CREDIT UNION LIMITED (herein after called “the Credit Union”) dealing with or continuing to deal with the undersigned (herein after called “the Member” or “Account Holder’ or “Applicant”) in the way of its business as a Financial Institution, the Member agrees with the Credit Union that the operation of the account shall be subject to the terms and conditions set out below:

1. Subject to any specific instructions given to the Credit Union in writing by the Member,
(a) the Member hereby waives in favour of the Credit Union any presentment, notice of dishonour and protest of all bills of exchange, promissory notes, cheques, orders for payment of money, securities, coupons, notes ( all or any of which are hereinafter called “Instruments” or “Instrument” as the case may be) drawn, made, accepted or endorsed by the Member, now or hereafter delivered to the Credit Union or any branch thereof for any purpose whatsoever and the Member shall be liable to the Credit Union in respect thereof as if presentment notice of dishonour and protest had been duly made or given; and
(b) if the Credit Union should consider it in the best interest of the Member or the Credit Union that any Instrument should be noted or protested because of any endorsement other than that of the Member, or for any other reason, then, at the discretion of any officer of the Credit Union, the Instrument may be noted or protested accordingly, but the Credit Union shall not be liable to the Member for any failure or omission to note or protest any such Instrument.

2. The Credit Union may use the services of any bank, credit union or agent as it may deem advisable in connection with its function as a Depository Business Agent of the Member. Such bank, credit union or agent is deemed to be the agent of the Member and the Credit Union will not, in any circumstances, be responsible or liable to the Member by reason of any act or omission of such bank, Credit Union or agent, however caused, in the performance of such services, or by reason of the loss, theft, destruction or delayed delivery of any Instrument while in transit to or from, or in the possession of, such bank, credit union or agent.

3. The Member hereby transfers and assigns to the Credit Union all claims of the Member against the drawees of all and any Instruments discounted or deposited with the Credit Union, and in the event of any such Instruments being refused acceptance, the Member hereby authorizes the Credit Union to take at any time, in the name of the Member, any proceedings for the collection of the amount of such unaccepted Instrument as the Credit Union may see fit.

4. (a) The Credit Union may charge the account of the Member with the amount of any Instrument drawn by the Member on any branch or agency of the Credit Union.
(b) The Member shall pay the Credit Union forthwith after demand therefore any indebtedness or liability to the Credit Union in connection with or arising out of the operation of any account of the Member together with interest thereon as agreed.
(c) The Credit Union may charge against the account of the Member the amount of any Instrument cashed or negotiated by the Member for the member or credited to the Member account for which payment is not received by the Credit Union. Any expenses incurred by the Credit Union in connection with a dishonoured or unpaid Instrument may be charged to the Member’s account. The Credit Union will not be held liable for their failure to notify you of a dishonoured or unpaid instrument. It will be the members responsibility to monitor their account for dishonoured or unpaid instruments through the use of Online Banking, telephone teller, email/text Alerts and/or by reviewing their Monthly Statements. Statements will be considered correct if no exceptions are reported in writing within 30 days from delivery or mailing to you.
(d) Should any Instrument received by the Credit Union for the account of the Member by way of deposit, discount, collection or otherwise be lost or stolen or otherwise disappear from any cause whatsoever, other than negligence on the part of the Credit Union, the Credit Union may charge the account of the Member with the amount of such Instrument and the Member agrees to pay the same. The Credit Union may make a reasonable service charge against the account of the member for the operation of the account and may debit the account from time to time with the amount of such charge. A list of the Credit Union’s current service Charges is available at every branch of the Credit Union, on our website or on request.
(e) The Credit Union upon written or verbal communication may charge to the account of the member an amount requested by the member and mail the proceeds to the home address on file. The requested amount will be in the form of a Bank Draft. Cash will only be available on request with advance notice (based on availability).
(i) A Bank Draft (Official Cheque) is a payment instrument drawn on the members account that guarantees funds from the Credit Union. This document looks like a regular cheque, the main difference is that the person who receives a Bank Draft has a guarantee that the funds are available.
(ii) Bank Drafts should be treated like cash as they do not expire or become stale dated. A Bank Draft cannot be cancelled once it has been issued. A member’s Bank Draft is irrevocable as soon as its handed over in payment, just like cash. After that, the member can’t cancel it and won’t be able to stop payment. If the member changes their mind and decide not to make the purchase or if the seller cancels the sale, the member can get a refund on the Bank Draft. The member will need to bring the Bank Draft back to the Credit Union.
(iii) If the member loses their Bank Draft, the Credit Union will consider reissuing the Bank Draft after a waiting period (usually at least 30 days) has passed to ensure that the Bank Draft is not in the process of being negotiated. The Credit Union requires the member to sign a Bond of Indemnity prior to reissuing the Bank Draft. A Bond of Indemnity will remain in place in the amount of the lost Bank Draft indefinitely (unless the Bank Draft is found and returned to the Credit Union). This bond of indemnity must be notarized.

5. The Member will draw encoded cheques only on the account for which the cheques are encoded. The Credit Union will not be liable in any circumstances for any loss or damage arising from the refusal by the Credit Union to certify or honour a cheque drawn by the Member on an account other than the account for which the cheque is encoded. The Credit Union may withdraw chequing account privileges and dishonour a cheque from clearing if the account has been deemed abused. An account may be deemed abused if the account holder has committed fraud involving cheques, has setup electronic fund withdrawals without ensuring appropriate funds are on deposit to cover said withdrawals and has not rectified the shortfall upon being made aware, or is in violation of the Operation of Account Agreement or CPA Rules. Cheque Deposits will be made in accordance with CPA Rules.

6. (a) All information relating to the account of the Member may be recorded or stored by the Credit Union in such forms and by means of such devices as the Credit Union may see fit. The Credit Union is under no obligation to retain original documents, Instruments or vouchers other than those belonging to or entrusted to the Credit Union by the Member.
(b) The Credit Union may use the services of any electronic data processing services bureau or organization in the performance of the services required by it.

7. (a) Upon the receipt from the Credit Union of a statement of the Member’s account together with cheques images and other vouchers (if applicable) for amounts charged to the account appearing therein, the Member will examine the account and check the credit and debit entries with the information provided and, within thirty days of the delivery thereof to the Member or, if the Member has instructed the Credit Union to mail the said statement and cheque images and vouchers, Within thirty days of the mailing of the thereof to the Member, will notify the Credit Union of any errors, irregularities or omissions therein or there from; and at the expiration of the said thirty days (except as to any errors, irregularities, or omissions of which the Credit Union has been so notified) it shall be conclusively settled as between the Credit Union and the Member that such statement and the amount of the balance shown thereon is correct and the said cheques and vouchers are genuine and properly chargeable to and charged against the Member’s account and that the Member was not entitled to be credited with any sum not credited in the said statement. The term “statement” shall include online or paper statement where applicable.
(b) Nothing herein contained shall preclude the Member from later objecting to any unauthorized or forged endorsement of the payee provided notice in writing is given to the Credit Union forthwith after the Member has acquired knowledge thereof.

8. The Member instructs the Credit Union to provide to the Member a record of the account for amounts charged to the said Account for amounts charged to the said account periodically either by personal use of a passbook or by statement distributed by mail or online statements recording the Account information on a monthly, quarterly, or previously determined time frame. These instructions will continue in force until contrary instructions in writing are received by the Credit Union from the Member. The Member will advise the Credit Union promptly if the recorded information has not been provided within ten days of the date of which it is normally received. New Accounts will receive their statements through Online Statements. Members must opt in for paper statements to be mailed home and a request must be made in writing.

9. The member, having adopted a rubber stamped and/or a printed endorsement, authorizes the Credit Union to accept an impression of the said stamp or other similar stamp or the printed endorsement by the member of all Instruments deposited to the credit of the account of the Member at the Credit Union which may from time to time be pledged as collateral security by the Member or discounted by the Credit Union for the account of the Member. The Member shall be bound by all such stamped or printed endorsements as amply and effectually as if such endorsements were written by or with the authority of the Member; and the members shall hold the Credit Union at all times fully indemnified from all claims and demands in respect of all Instruments bearing such stamped or printed endorsements, whether by reason of such stamped or printed endorsements having been made without authority or otherwise.

10. The Member agrees to keep his or her membership in the Credit Union in good standing at all times. The Member acknowledges that during any period of time during which the member is in breach of any term or condition of any Agreement the Member has with the Credit Union, or some other event of default has occurred that remains uncured, the Credit Union, at its sole discretion, may declare that the Member’s membership is not “in good standing”, and if it makes such a declaration, that the Member will not regain “ in good standing” status until such time as the Credit Union is satisfied the Member has secured the default(s).

11. The expression “the account” or “the Member’s account” used in this agreement shall mean the account of the Member upon or against which the Instrument is drawn, cashed or negotiated, but, if there should be insufficient funds in the said account to pay such Instrument or to pay any charges which the Credit Union is authorized to charge under the provisions of this agreement then the said expression shall mean any other account which the member may have at any branch or agency of the Credit Union and the Credit Union is authorized to charge such account with the amount of such Instrument or of surcharges.

12. In construing this Agreement, the word “Member”, and “you”, “your” and “yours” shall be binding on as agreeing with the substitution. If there is more than one member their obligations shall be joint and several. All rights of the Credit Union hereunder shall endure to the benefit of its successors and assigns; and all obligations of the member shall bind their heirs, executors and administrators and their successors and assigns.

13. I agree that the Credit Union can add to or change the terms and conditions of this Agreement from time to time. The Credit Union promises to give me at least 30 days’ notice of any such additional or amended terms and conditions. The 30 days’ notice will run from the date a notice is posted to the website. If I continue to use any of the Electronic Services or the account after the effective date of any additional or amended terms or conditions to this Agreement, then the Credit Union shall be entitled to presume that I have accepted such additional or amended terms or conditions and will be bound by them.

14. Member agrees not to perform a transaction that will cause the account to exceed its available limit. Any amounts exceeding the available limit will be charged in accordance with the Credit Union’s Service Fees.

15. The Credit Union will establish service fees for use of the Electronic Service and/or for conducting Transactions and may change the service fees from time to time. I hereby give the Credit Union permission to deduct any applicable service fees from any Account.

16. The Credit Union offers several account banking packages that reward full-service members for their loyalty with free products and services, commonly referred to as Benefit Types. These account packages are subject to change at anytime, and accounts are subject to review on a monthly basis and benefit types will be changed in accordance with eligibility requirements. Service

Fees associated with each benefit type will be applicable at that time, and eligibility requirements can be found on our website or by contacting our office. Members that are paying for an account package must ensure that they have the appropriate funds available in their account to satisfy the monthly cost of receiving free products and services under the respective package. Members that miss payment for 2 consecutive months without resolve will be downgraded to the pay as you go account package until such time that the member has cleared any unauthorized overdrafts and aims to be enrolled in this package again. This enrollment is not automatic and will require management approval to ensure that the cost of administration is warranted by the members request. No unreasonable request will be denied.

17. The Credit Union may terminate this Agreement and will receive the members express consent to withdraw membership if any of the below sound business reasons are applicable:
(a) The account is used to break the law or commit fraud
(b) The applicant intentionally provided false information when the account was opened
(c) The applicant exposes Credit Union members, account holders or employees to physical harm, harassment or abuse
(d) The applicant will not provide acceptable Identification, in accordance with the Credit Union’s Account Opening Process
(e) The applicant does not accept restrictions placed on a Deposit Account
(f) The applicant represents an unacceptable risk to the Credit Union
(g) The applicant has caused a financial loss to the Credit Union
(h) The Credit Union is a closed bond of association credit union and the applicant does not meet the credit union’s membership requirements.
Applicant(s) will be required to deposit funds to clear any outstanding balances and/or fees and close all existing Credit Union products.

A Member may terminate this agreement/close their account at anytime by completing in writing their intent to withdraw membership. The Credit Union’s Close Account form will be required to be signed by each account holder. Available Funds in the account will be provided to the member, less applicable fees. Membership Shares will only be provided to the Primary Account Holder.

18. We are committed to providing fair treatment to all of our members using our products and services. It is a core component of our governance and corporate culture. The Credit Union’s Code of Conduct can be found on our website.

19. The Credit Union may place account restrictions on any of our products and services or place appropriate limits on a membership based on applicable risk. Members will be notified of any limits or restrictions in place in writing via communication on our website, email or letter.

20. The Credit Union will maintain deposit insurance with the Regulatory Provider in the Province of Ontario and limits will be in accordance their guidelines. The Credit Union will be unable to insure deposits above those limits set by the Regulator.

21. Members must report any unauthorized use of the account within 30 days of the suspected transaction by contacting the Credit Union’s Office. All unauthorized suspected transactions will be investigated by the Credit Union and charges may be pursued if any claims are proven to be false or misrepresented. The Credit Union may require the member to file a police report in the event of a reported fraudulent transaction prior to any funds being reimbursed.

The Credit Union will not be liable for fraudulent or suspect transactions until after an investigation and only after it has been determined there was no misconduct or breach of Operation of Account Agreement or sharing of PAC on the part of the member. Members will be liable for any fraudulent transactions exceeding the Credit Union’s policy limits where member has signed an indemnity agreement.

Lost or Stolen ATM Cards should be reported immediately in order to mitigate any potential losses by contacting the Credit Union’s office or by emailing outside of regular business hours.

22. The Credit Union may place a hold on all cheque deposits in order to ensure the funds are cleared prior to releasing the funds.

23. Whether requesting a Stop Payment in branch or through Online banking, member may request a Stop Payment on a transaction provided the transaction has not already cleared the account and the request is made in writing and all details of the transaction are provided on the Credit Union’s form. Members may not place a stop payment on a transaction if they have insufficient funds to cover it.

24. The Credit Union will have the right to offset the members credit facility with the Credit Union then outstanding with any deposits available in any of the members account types including registered investments in order to make the Credit Union whole. A right of offset from a registered investment will trigger a tax receipt.

25. The Credit Union will issue members with the following official tax receipts when they become available:
(a) RSP T4 (RSP Withdrawals)
(b) RIF T4 (RIF Withdrawals)
(c) RSP Official Deposit Receipt (1st 60 days, Remainder of year)
(d) T5 (Interest Earned on Deposits exceeding $50; excludes TFSA)

26. All incoming and outgoing calls made to or by the Credit Union will be recorded to monitor the quality of member service, aide dispute resolution or for training purposes.
Members may object to the recording by requesting that the call not to be recorded or by use of an alternative approach such as:

  • visiting a branch in person;
  • writing a letter;
  • completing the transaction online; or
  • sending an email request

All Call Recordings will be securely maintained in accordance with the law. Call Recordings no longer required will be erased/destroyed. The Credit Union may at its sole discretion use Call Recordings in connection with Artificial Intelligence or Biometrics to authenticate voice recognition.

27. I understand I may appoint a power of attorney to act for me in respect of my account. However, the Credit Union may, in its sole discretion, require additional documentation and/or verification before accepting a power of attorney or acting upon the instructions of an attorney or processing any transaction by the attorney. I consent to my attorney having the same right of access to my account(s) as I do, including to any joint account(s), and including to any previous account history. I agree to indemnify and save you harmless from any claims associated with or arising from the actions of my attorney in respect of my account(s).

28. In accordance with the MemberCard Debit Card/Personal Identification Number Agreement/Mobile Payment Service Agreement, the Credit Union may terminate a member’s Debit Card if the card remains unused for more than any consecutive 12-month period and a replacement card will only be issued upon the member’s explicit request.

29. I agree that the signature and/or the initials will be the electronic representation of my signature and/or initials for all purposes when I (or my agent) use them on my document including legally binding contracts – just the same as pen-and-paper signature and/or initial.

I agree that my use of a key pad, mouse or other device to select an item, button, icon or similar action, or to otherwise provide the Energy Credit Union with my assent during the document transaction (the “eSignature”) constitutes my signature and acceptance of the content of the documents.

I agree that no certification authority or other third-party verification is necessary to validate my eSignature and the lack of such certification or third party verification does not affect the enforceability of my eSignature.

I agree to conduct business with the Energy Credit Union via electronic documents in addition to paper documents.

In exchange for THE ENERGY CREDIT UNION LIMITED (herein after called “the Credit Union”) allowing me to complete transactions on the account through its Internet and/or Telephone Access technologies, I agree as follows:

“Account” means any account under any membership held by the member with the Credit Union; “PAC” means the personal access code I have selected for my own use which, when used with the Equipment, permits access to the Electronic Services; “Electronic Services” means all of the services available through the use of the PAC in combination with the telephone and internet Channels operated by the Credit Union including the Credit Union’s Mobile App, eDeposit Services and Electronic Fund Transfers; “Telephone Services” means all of the services available through the use of the PAC in combination with the telephone channel Operated by the Credit Union; “Internet Services” means all of the services available through the use of the PAC in combination with the internet channel operated By the Credit Union; “Equipment” means the equipment, such as a personal computer or telephone, which, when used in combination with the PAC, Permit access to the Electronic Services; “ Signing Authority” means any person authorized to sign on an Account; and “Transaction” means any transaction performed Using any of the Electronic Services.

I acknowledge having read the Terms of Use found on home page of the Credit Union website under the link “legal” (if I intend to use the Internet Services) and will be continually bound by the Term of Use and the Operation of Account Agreement. The terms and conditions of the Operation of Account Agreement and any other conditions or agreements which now or may in the future exist between me and the Credit Union regarding any Account shall remain in full force and effect and shall apply to each Transaction, except as expressly modified or supplemented by the terms of this Agreement or the Terms of Use that apply generally to my use of the Credit Union’s website. In the event of an irreconcilable conflict, this Agreement supersedes the Terms of Use on the website, but the Operation of Account Agreement and any other paper agreements are paramount.

I acknowledge that I have permission to use the Electronic Services to access any permitted Account and to conduct Transactions as may be permitted with respect to any such Account. However, I am not allowed to use these Services to pay bills from, or transfer funds out of any Account that is a Registered or Non-Registered Investment that I am not the holder of and where more than one signature is required to authorize a transaction, unless prior authorization is received in writing from all required signers. I agree to follow the instructions of the Credit Union in effect from time to time with respect to the use of the Electronic Services.

When I use my PAC to conduct any Transaction, I agree that this is the legal equivalent of having given a written, signed instruction to the Credit Union to complete the Transaction, and therefore agree to be bound by each such Transaction. This means that I irrevocably authorize and direct the Credit Union to debit or credit, as the case may be, the amount of any Transaction to the Account or Accounts designate by me at the time of the Transaction, in accordance with the Credit Union’s normal practices and the terms and conditions of my Operation of Account Agreement. The Credit Union’s practices respecting the debiting or crediting of any of the Electronic Services may be revised from time to time with or without notice to me, and the Credit Union reserves the right to require me to physically sign original documents before completing certain Transactions if it believes it is advisable for our mutual protection.

I understand that my electronic signature permits access to all accounts associated, now or in the future, with my account number, regardless of whether those accounts are owned by me solely or jointly with another person or persons.

I agree not to conduct or try to conduct any Transaction that would result in a negative balance in any Account or would exceed that unused balance of any authorized overdraft or line of credit, if available. I agree to reimburse the Credit Union for all liability or loss arising out of any such Transaction, in accordance with the terms and conditions of my Operation of Account Agreement.

I agree that if I use the Telephone Services without using the specified toll-free number, I alone will be responsible for all long-distance charges imposed by your telephone service provider.

I agree that all computer equipment, electronic devices and associated software provided by the Credit Union to me to enable electronic access to my Account is the property of the Credit Union, and promise to return it and any and all copies made of the software to the Credit Union upon request. I agree to use this equipment and software under a non- exclusive and non – transferable license and only for the purposes intended.

I consent to the Credit Union’ s taping, storing, or otherwise recording my session using the Electronic Services. This consent may or may not be confirmed prior to or during each session. The Credit union agrees to keep the content of any such records confidential and confirm that the records will only be used to verify Transaction and Service request details and monitor the performance of its employees.

I accept that the Electronic Services are provided subject to the limitations on the Credit Union’s responsibilities detailed in its website
Terms of Use, as well as the following:

Electronic Services are made available only on an “as is” and “as available” basis. The Credit Union offers these Electronic Services in order to improve the accessibility of the Credit Union to its members. However, the provisions of these Services are dependent in part on communication lines and other third-party equipment and services. Furthermore, no computer system designed to safeguard a member’s Personal Information is perfect, and unintended disclosure of a member’s Personal Information through accident or fraud is on the part of third parties is always possible.


Bill Payments Made Through the Electronic Services
The Credit Union will use its best efforts to forward any bill payment Transactions to the merchants specified by me for credit the next or second business day following the day they are authorized through the Electronic Services. However, I agree that the Credit Union is not responsible for delayed credit or late payments for reasons beyond the Credit Union’s control. I alone am responsible for entering and authorizing the correct payment amounts, merchant account identification, the Account to be charged, ensuring that each payment is entered and authorized only once, and that there are sufficient funds available in my account or available through a line of credit to complete the transaction. If the Electronic Service tells me that the Transaction failed, I acknowledge that it remains my sole responsibility to make the bill payment through another channel.

The PAC is for my use alone and may not be assigned or transferred. I agree to keep the PAC confidential and to not disclose it to any person other than to a Signing Authority on the Account. I agree not to record the PAC in any manner or to any media, whether in writing or otherwise, including without limitation in electronic form, or by voicemail or email. For security reasons, the Credit Union recommends that I change my PAC on a regular basis (perhaps every 90-120 days) and not reuse the numbers that make up my PAC in the Personal Identification Number that I use in conjunction with a debit card. I realize that if the PAC becomes known to other than a Signing Authority on the Account, confidential information about my Account may be accessed by individuals to whom I have not intended to give access.

I agree to notify the Credit Union immediately, in writing, if my PAC becomes known to anyone other than you or any other Signing Authority
on the relevant Account or Accounts.

I agree that I am liable for all unauthorized use of the PAC until such notification is made and acknowledged by the Credit Union. I further agree that, until the Credit Union receives my acknowledgement notification is not deemed to be received by the Credit Union.

I acknowledge that all Transactions are subject to verification and acceptance by the Credit Union. And if not accepted will be reversed from the Account. Verification may take place on a date later than the date I authorized the Transaction, which may affect the Transaction date.

I agree that the Credit Union’s records of each Transaction, including updates of Account information provided to me electronically and the Credit Union’s accounting records, will be deemed to be correct, and will be conclusive and binding upon me. I understand that if I believe that the Credit Union’s records contain an error or omission, I am required to give written notice of the suspected error or omission to the Credit Union within thirty days of the date the record was created or within such other time limit specified in my Operation of Account Agreement in force from time to time, or any other paper agreement which now exists or may in the future exist (whichever is the most restrictive) with respect to the operation of my relevant Account or Accounts.


When I use my PAC to conduct a Transaction through the Electronic Services, I agree that I will not be permitted to revoke or stop any such Transaction once the request has been processed.

The Credit Union may at any time without notice withdraw permission from me to use any of the Electronic Services or cancel or alter any of the Electronic Services without being liable for any loss resulting from such action. I agree that the determination of Electronic Services for any reason will not relieve me of any obligations under this Agreement with respect to the Electronic Services. The Credit Union reserves the right to terminate access to Electronic Services at our sole discretion if the account has become inactive or dormant in the preceding 6-month period.

If I signed up for Internet and/or Telephone Banking services online, I acknowledge that I have signed this agreement electronically. In that case, I acknowledge that my use of Electronic Services shall be deemed to be acceptance of the terms and conditions hereof as of the date of first use. If I have signed, noted below, a paper version of this Agreement, I acknowledge the receipts of a true copy of this Agreement. In either case, I acknowledge further that this Agreement does not require a signature by the Credit Union to be effective and binding on both parties. I also agree to keep a copy of this Agreement for my own records.

If I hold an Account jointly with another or other persons, then I acknowledge that each joint holder of that Account will be jointly and severally liable for all Transactions conducted.

Privacy and Security: Staying Safe on the Internet
We are committed to protecting your privacy and safeguarding your personal and financial information. Online banking makes managing your finances easy and convenient. However, there are some simple measures you should take whenever you go online to access your accounts. Because your online security is our priority, we have compiled information and suggestions to keep your personal and financial information safe and secure.

Our online banking system is safeguarded with the best security available in a commercial environment, ensuring that your information is protected while data is transmitted between your computer and our banking server.

Internet encryption protects your information while it is in transit between your computer and our systems. Encryption ensures that data cannot be read or altered because the Information is scrambled. Our online banking website uses a 128 bit SSL, encrypting both request and response transactions, through a secure connection. To establish a secure connection, make sure that the prefix of our website address in your browser reads ‘https’ (and not simply ‘http’). All the browsers we support meet this requirement. If yours doesn’t, please download the appropriate encryption support from your browser’s supplier.

When visiting a branch, you can feel confident that your money is safe and secure. We are keeping you just as safe when you bank online but once your information reaches your computer, you have a responsibility to protect it.

Personal Access Codes (PAC): Keep Them Safe
Online credentials can be numerous as they are needed for email accounts, social networking sites, online newspapers and shopping websites. That’s a lot of usernames and passwords – and it can be tempting to use the same combination for everything. But this makes it far too easy for hackers because once they have one password, they can access all your sites.

Login credentials are the keys to your accounts so don’t leave those keys around for anyone to find. For online banking, the key is your Personal Access Code (PAC). We recommend you:
• Choose a PAC that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. Avoid using current phone numbers, dates of birth, or social insurance numbers.
• Be smart and don’t save a list of your credentials on your PC. If you have to write them down, keep these details locked away somewhere only you can access or consider using password-management software, which secures and encrypts usernames and
passwords and allows you to use a single master password.
• Do not share your PAC with anyone, especially online. Employees of our financial institution will never call, email, write or ask you to provide your online banking credentials. Ever.
• Don’t authorize browsers to memorize your credentials. Saving these on your computer allows anyone using your PC to gain access to your login-protected sites.
• Consider changing your PAC every 90 days for optimum security.

Monitoring Your Accounts
Make sure you review your account statements (whether online or on paper) on a regular basis. Frequently reviewing your paper and/or electronic account statements ensures that you spot any incorrect or fraudulent transactions as soon as they occur. If your card has been skimmed (when the card’s magnetic stripe and PIN are fraudulently copied by embedded devices at ATMs or point-of-sale devices) or unauthorized transactions have been made, you will want to catch this as soon as possible.

Personal Details
When you move, it is important to notify us of your change of address. If your mailing information isn’t up-to-date, statements or letters that contain personal information will continue to be sent to your former address.

Logging In and Out
When you are finished with your banking session, always log out by clicking the “Log Out” button, as opposed to simply closing the browser window. To help protect your information, your online banking session will end automatically if there has been no activity for a period of time. If your session has timed out, no further transactions can be made until you log in again. This time-out feature helps protect your accounts from unauthorized access.

Clearing Cookies and Cache
When you spend time on the Internet, your browser stores information, such as the websites you visit, the images and files you view, and your personal information, including passwords and login details. This data is held on your computer’s hard drive and is known as ‘cache.’ Even though you may have logged out and closed your browser, this information may remain accessible. You can protect your data by clearing your browsing history regularly. Learn how to clear the history in every browser you use.

Private Browsing
Some web browsers have a feature that allows you to browse the Internet without the browser storing information, such as the sites you visit, the images you see and videos you watch. This feature is sometimes used by people who share the same computer. Private browsing is a temporary option and must be selected in order for it to be activated. Private browsing, however, does not give you immunity to spyware or make you anonymous. It is still possible for your Internet service provider, employer or the websites you visit to track your online activity.

While pickpockets can only target a few people each day, Internet fraudsters cast their nets much wider, using the anonymity and reach of mass emails and fake websites. You can protect yourself from these situations by knowing how to identify and avoid these scams.

A common way for Internet scammers to obtain your personal information is through a method called phishing. Usernames, passwords, banking information and credit card details are phished through email or instant messaging. Phishing works by sending communications, which appear to be from your financial institution, but they are not.

You are asked, supposedly by your financial institution, to log in to your online banking to verify account information. Often some type of security concern is cited as the issue. The fake email instructs you to click on a link that takes you to a non-legitimate version of your online banking site – one that is largely indistinguishable from the legitimate site – and you’ll be asked to enter your credentials.

Phishing emails may include:
• Warnings about account closures
• Requests to update your information
• Offers to register for a new service
• Offers for pre-approved credit cards
• Free virus-protection programs

Once you click on the link, which directs you to a phishing website, you’ll be prompted to enter personal or banking information. Phishing scams seek personal details, such as your address, social security number or mother’s maiden name. The details obtained will then be used for identity theft. Never provide personal details or any account details in an email. Electronic messaging is not a secure form of communication. If you receive a message that you are unsure about, please contact us.

Another way for hackers to get their hands on your personals details is by pharming them. Pharming occurs when hackers use a malicious code on your PC, which compromises your computer’s host file and redirects you to fake websites. The malware hides the fraudulent URL, cloaking it in the legitimate one that appears in your browser. With pharming, the dishonest redirection of URLs happens even when you type correct URLs directly into your browser, making you think that you’re on the correct website when you are not. Once there, you are asked to enter your online banking credentials or account information, which hackers take and use for criminal activity.

How to Avoid Phishing and Pharming Scams
We will never send you emails or communications asking you to verify or provide your online banking details. The best way to protect yourself is to never use a link provided in an email to access your online banking (because we don’t send those; scammers do). Do not open emails or email attachments from unknown sources. Scan email through your anti-virus software. Always type your financial institution’s website address directly into your browser and remember to look for confirmation that you are browsing securely. The letter “s” in ‘https’ indicates you are navigating in a secure site, in comparison to the open and unprotected ‘http’ URLs. Look for the ‘https’ when online shopping, too. Don’t believe emails warning that your account has been compromised or that you’ll miss out on a great deal if you fail to act immediately. If you are concerned, call or visit one of our customer service representatives.

Anti-Virus Software
Install anti-virus software on your computer to protect your information, money and privacy. Such software detects viruses and cleans your computer so that harmful viruses do not spread. Set up your anti-virus to run frequent scans and update the software as soon as it is required. Ensure you have real-time scanning of every email and every file you download.

Malicious software (malware), spyware, worms and Trojans are the same class of destructive viruses; just with different names. Nobody wants a computer virus. They can steal your personal information, take over your PC and use your computer to attack other people’s computers. Your PC can become infected through email attachments, downloading infected content or visiting harmful websites.

Spyware is exactly what it sounds like – tracking software that is downloaded to your computer (without your knowledge) when you visit certain Internet sites. Secretly, it gathers information about you and your browsing habits. This information can be trivial or it can include passwords and personal data that you wouldn’t want criminals to get their hands on. It can also interfere with user controls and disable legitimate anti-virus programs. The best way to protect your computer against spyware is smart browsing. Stay away from sites that look unsafe and avoid streaming or downloading content from untrustworthy sources. Many anti-virus products offer targeted spyware solutions that inspect your operating system, installed programs, downloads and files.

One of the most common viruses to watch out for is known as scareware. These scams pop-up on your screen and display alarmist warnings, telling you a virus has invaded your computer. Scareware prompts you to download (and often pay for) fake anti-virus software to remove the non-existent viruses. Scareware is a scam that tries to trick you into paying money in exchange for nothing. You can protect against scareware by keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date and by being judicious about what you choose to download to your computer. You should also familiarize yourself with the interface of your legitimate anti-virus program, so you won’t be fooled if one of these pop-ups appears.

A firewall protects your computer and home network from harmful websites and hackers. It sits between your computer and the Internet, scanning information that is being transmitted. It allows for safe browsing, while blocking unauthorized intrusions. Firewalls also stop your computer from being used by hackers to send malicious software to other computers. Most computers now come with a firewall as part of the standard operating system. However, you can get the maximum protection for your computer by installing additional firewalls and ensuring they are kept up-to-date.

We have created secure channel to communicate with our customers but you need to do your part by making sure your computer is virus-free and the operating system is kept updated.

Operating Systems
Your computer’s operating system needs to be up-to-date in order to defend itself from viruses and malicious software (malware). If one part of your operating system develops a virus, it leaves holes in your PC’s security defences and compromises the safety of the information contained in your computer. Keeping your software up-to-date is one of the most important ways of staying safe online because it is much harder for viruses to infect an updated operating system and software. Hackers are targeting operating systems with new viruses all the time and software companies combat these efforts with security patches. You should always download the latest security patch as soon as it becomes available.

Your operating system lets you know when updates are available by notifying you there are new security features to download. You can also upgrade your operating system to the latest version available from the manufacturer; however, you should ensure your computer has sufficient hardware capacity to support an upgrade. Remember to back up your data. To fully eliminate a virus that has infected your machine, the re-installation of your operating system may be required. Protect yourself against the permanent loss of important data by frequently backing up your files on an external hard drive so you’ll have the data should you ever have a problem with your operating system.

Web browsers are the gateways to the Internet. Similar to having an up-to-date operating system, upgraded browsers provide more features, stability and security. The latest versions of web browsers have security features that can identify and block harmful and fake websites and pop-ups, and warn you if a site is flagged as unsafe. Some browsers also have a ‘Private Browsing’ feature, which conceals your browsing history from others. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome or something else, stay safe online by using the latest version available.

Protecting Your Smartphone
Browsing the web has never been easier – it’s all at your fingertips. Smartphones let you surf, shop or bank wherever you are. Make sure your information stays secure while you’re on the move by following these smartphone-safe browsing tips:
• Activate your phone’s password feature, which locks the screen and prevents anyone but you from accessing your phone. Set up the password feature on your phone with a code that only you know.
• Don’t connect to unknown networks through Wi-Fi hotspots to make financial transactions.
• Beware of smishing – that’s phishing on phones through text messages. Never download media or images, or click on text-message links that come from unrecognizable people or phone numbers. Never provide personal details or any account details using any form of electronic messaging because this is not a secure form of communication. If you are unsure, please contact us.
• Download apps exclusively from the official source for your smartphone’s platform, such as the Android, Apple or BlackBerry stores.
• Install anti-virus software for your smartphone when available and update it frequently.
• Install location finding applications, which work with your phone’s built-in GPS. These applications allow you to locate and/or remotely erase (or “wipe”) data in your phone if it is lost or stolen.
• Update your smartphone’s operating system as soon as newer versions are available.

These days, everyone is on the go and it’s not uncommon to access Wi-Fi at coffee shops, hotels, restaurants or airports. Using wireless networks to access information is convenient, but not risk-free. Be smart when you surf. Protect yourself from threats by:
• Using only a trusted computer to access your online banking. Don’t use shared library or cafe computers.
• Managing your online banking only from secure networks. We recommend that you don’t use unsecured public networks for anything sensitive.
• Connecting only to password-protected networks. If there are several networks available, ask employees of the organization which network they operate.
• Never leaving your computer unattended, especially if you are logged into your online banking.
• Using different PACs and security questions as login credentials. If someone obtains your credentials for one site, such as a social networking site, you don’t want them to be able to access your other ones.
• Ensuring you log out before you close your browsers.

Shopping Online
Online shopping is the epitome of convenience. There are no lines and no crowds, but it can also be a haven for fraudsters. Consider the following tips when using your credit cards online to ensure your information stays secure:
• Make sure that you are shopping at a trusted retailer when you enter your credit card details online.
• Provide retailers with only the necessary details to complete the transaction. These include your credit card number, expiry date, the security code on the back of the credit card and the card’s billing address. Never provide your social insurance number, account details or your mother’s maiden name. For shopping sites that require you to register with a username and password, don’t use your online banking PAC.
• Use your credit cards only on e-commerce websites that use secure browsing technology on the screens where you enter your card information. Ensure the web address begins with ‘https’ (as opposed to ‘http’) and has a closed padlock icon on the screen.
• Ensure that smaller retailers requesting credit card details have reputable contact details, a physical address and you feel comfortable with providing them your card information.
• Never give your account or credit card details to anyone on eBay or Craigslist.

(FATCA and CRS Compliance)
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is an important development in US efforts to improve tax compliance involving foreign financial assets and offshore accounts. Under FATCA, US taxpayers with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds must report these assets to the IRS. This reporting will be made on Form 8938, which taxpayers attach to their federal income tax return, starting this tax filing season.
In addition, FATCA will require foreign financial institutions to report directly to the IRS information about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or held by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The Account Holder hereby confirms that they will abide by this Act and inform the Credit Union promptly if they are:
• a citizen of another country;
• employed by a company in another country;
• own or operate a Domiciled Account in another country;
• file international tax return.

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is a new international standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information between tax administrations to use in fighting tax evasion and to promote voluntary compliance with tax laws. Canada and close to a hundred other jurisdictions are committed to its implementation. The implementation of the CRS in Canada would result in Canadian financial institutions having to report to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the financial accounts they maintain for non-residents of Canada and certain entities controlled by non-residents of Canada. The CRA would, in turn, give to each foreign jurisdiction. It is proposed that Canadian financial institutions report the following information on non-resident account holders to the Canada Revenue Agency:
• identifying information for the account holder (name and address)
• taxpayer identification numbers
• date of birth
• account number
• account balance or value at end of the year
• certain amounts paid or credited to the account

The balance or value of an account is determined on the last day of the calendar year or other appropriate reporting period.

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