Episode 2: Beginning the Secure Journey to Open Banking on a Cloud

In this podcast episode, we discuss how to begin the secure journey to open banking on the cloud. Joined by Don Coulter, President and CEO of Concentra Bank, Dianne Cupples asks Don’s thoughts and predictions on the open banking movement in Canada and how it affects Concentra’s future. Concentra is a wholesale bank and trust company providing financial services to over 85% of Canada’s credit unions. As a client of Portfolio+, Concentra partners with fintechs and other technology companies to ensure that their architecture and technology is flexible, innovative, cloud-based, and ready to grow and scale.

Transcript +

Dianne Cupples:

Hello, I’m Dianne Cupples, CEO of Portfolio+. Welcome to the Portfolio+ Podcast series, where we focus on walking financial institutions, FinTechs and start-ups through the journey of open banking on a cloud platform.

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In today’s episode, we are focusing on the journey from a financial institution perspective, what open banking means to a financial institution, the opportunities they see, and what challenges they may face, as well as- where are they on the journey? Joining me today is Don Coulter, the Chief Executive Officer for Concentra Bank. Don is concentrating on strategy to enable Concentra Bank for long-term sustainable growth. In addition to being a bank, Concentra partners with credit unions to provide solutions that support their membership retention and growth. With these deep roots in the cooperative movement, Concentra is also a strong supporter of the open banking movement. Thanks for joining me today, Don.

Don Coulter:

Dianne, it’s great to be here. How are you today?

Dianne Cupples:

I’m good. Thank you. Very good. And you?

Don Coulter:

I’m Excellent. Thanks. 

Dianne Cupples:

Great. Well, Don, I’ve provided a brief introduction of Concentra to our listeners. Is there anything that you would like to add just so they have a solid awareness of who Concentra is and what your services are?

Don Coulter:

Yeah, definitely. Thanks. Thanks very much. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. Concentra Bank is a mid-size bank in Canada. We are the 13th largest Schedule I bank, and Schedule I means banks that are owned by Canadians or Canadian entities. We are a midsize bank. We have both a bank license and then a trust license as well. The organization has been around for decades. We changed our name to Concentra in 2005. As you mentioned, our legacy comes from the credit union system. So we started in the Prairies; the Prairie provinces in Canada, back in the late 1930s. We were an integral part of the credit union movement in Canada, which coming out of the Great Depression, we were there to help businesses and farmers and others with their banking needs and financial needs. But fast forwarding up to 2005 until today, we have rapidly changed a lot. Today, we continue to work closely with credit unions to help them be successful, and their members as well. But we also have a very thriving, dynamic and growing business in banking outside of the credit union system. We offer mortgages to Canadians, provide business banking and commercial loans. We have an equipment finance subsidiary that finances construction equipment and transportation equipment; things like that. We have a consumer finance business as well, which is more unsecured lending for different types of things ranging from vehicle finance all the way to home improvement finance as well, and we offer foreign exchange services, securitization services. We have an internal treasury consulting practice as well. That’s mostly the bank. The trust company does registered plan administration for Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Education Savings Plans. We do trust and estate planning, and we also do corporate trusts or specialized trusts. Now, the way we deliver our business is somewhat unique in Canada. We have no branches. We are a completely branchless bank, and we do a lot of what we do through partners. We have an $11 billion bank and a $30 billion trust company, which is fairly large for our employee base, which is only 400. And so with those 400 people, we partner very closely with FinTechs, technology companies, other financial institutions to be able to deliver what we do. We are investment-grade rated as a bank, which is an important thing. We have also been recognized as one of Canada’s best managed companies for 18 years in a row.

Dianne Cupples:

Great. Thanks for sharing that, Don. I think as we go forward with today’s conversation, that history is really going to help through the conversation for open banking. You’ve got a tried and true tested model with a wide variety of services. I can see how open banking can play a very important role with Concentra’s future. Let’s talk a little bit about that. We have talked about how the movement to open banking in Canada is a journey, which everybody we have talked to, agrees. We do not know when we will come to the end on the journey, but it will be a constant evolution as we get there. Concentra, as you said, has been founded in the cooperative movement and is providing financial services, not only to customers, but also to the credit unions. The interesting part about the credit union movement is it has a customer first ethos, a cooperative mindset. Open banking’s core purpose is to provide customers with control over their financial data and who can access it. Do you view the customer first ethos as a valuable asset on the journey to open banking for Concentra and for credit unions?

Don Coulter:

I really do, Dianne, because I think open banking is going to provide more what I would describe as “democratization of banking.” It’s going to allow those consumers, whether they are credit union customers, or as they call them, the credit system members, or banking customers. It is going to give them control of their data, it is going to give them more transparency, giving them access to the data. The credit union system, year after year, is usually ranked number one in the country among all deposit taking institutions in terms of customer service. The members of credit unions really enjoy the service that they get. I think a lot of the reason is those cooperative values and the principles of cooperatives are such that it is very clear that the whole focus is to help the member be successful on their financial journey. I think open banking is going to provide more transparency, as I said before, which is going to allow for, I think in and of itself, better decision making and also I think it definitely will spur more innovation and competition in banking as well, which will result in credit union members and other consumers getting better applications in which to work and do their banking. So better experience in terms of better PFM or Personal Financial Management tools. I think it’s going to allow them to have a better picture of what their overall financial position is. I think the innovation that will come out of open banking will result in many different options for people to bank. Some have talked about open banking maybe leading to the unbundling of banking services, meaning that traditionally big banks, the holy grail for them is to have large share of wallet. You want to have eight, nine, ten products for each of your customers. But I think with open banking, maybe I do not know this to be certain, but it may lead to a best in breed approach, where there might be one FinTech or credit union, bank, FinTech partnership that is really good at one part of lending. It could be consumer finance. They might specialize in that, and it could result in another being very good at wealth management. We’ve seen some robo-advisors in our country that are very good at that as well. I think with the credit union total focus on the financial well-being of their member; improving their financial success, I think open banking will give them more choice and more competition, which I think is good, too. I think the transportability, the portability of data is also going to help them potentially to switch from one provider to another, so they have more choice. I think more choice, more competition and more innovation is always a good thing.

Dianne Cupples:

Don, maybe we could clarify for our listeners why do credit unions call them members versus customers? That’s a nuance that’s within the credit union movement.

Don Coulter:

That’s a great question, Dianne. If you think of a bank in Canada with these big, huge banks, there are customers and all of us, or probably most of Canadians are customers, and then there are shareholders. The shareholders own the banks. But often, those are two different categories of people. In the credit union system, the customers are the owners, and they have a membership in the credit union. Unlike one of the big banks in Canada, if you want to do business with a credit union, you have to take out a membership. It is not that expensive. It’s often anywhere from $5-$20. Once you are a member, you can then do your business. You can have transactional banking, mortgages, commercial loans, whatever it is you want to do, wealth management. But then, as an owner, you get a say in the governance of the credit union and you get to vote on the board of directors, you get to give your perspectives on the future direction. In some cases, you get paid what they call “patronage dividends” as well. You are a customer and an owner at the same time, which is different from the banking system typically. 

Dianne Cupples:

That’s a great model. Canada has, let’s say, approximately 231 credit unions, and I think it is give or take 5.9 million members, when you look at the stats depending on the day. Combined, that’s a large group of owners, customers, and members within the movement. Do you see that large group coming together as an advantage on the journey to open banking? Is there an opportunity for credit unions to come together and partner? 

Don Coulter:

I really do. The nature of the credit union system is that there is a smaller number of credit unions now than there used to be. There used to be over a thousand credit unions, and the credit unions come in different sizes and shapes. You have some really small credit unions, midsize credit unions, and really large ones. In terms of numbers, most of them are small and medium size, and you know, banking is a scalable business. The expenditures you need to run a financial institution are quite high. So traditionally, the model has been that credit unions have banded together to create, to fund and capitalize these shared service entities that will provide a lot of the different technology and even marketing, human resources capabilities in a pool basis. They do not all have to have … When there are a thousand credit unions, you wouldn’t have a thousand separate technology companies or a thousand separate HR departments and things like that. That has changed a bit because the reality of the cost of running a financial institution today has gone up significantly. Out of necessity, a lot of credit unions have merged. You are  seeing a smaller number of credit unions now, but the legacy has been to have these provincial centrals, they typically call them. You probably heard of Central 1 or Saskatchewan Central and others. They are like a holding company that all the credit unions will invest in, and they will do a lot of the functions, liquidity provider and some of the other things I talked about before. Built on that legacy of pooling together and then the better interest for the greater good, to me, it makes a lot of sense for credit unions to again band together, come together to think about solutions for open banking on more of a collective basis. Clearly, some of the credit unions are quite small in smaller communities, and for them to have the wherewithal, the knowledge base, the expertise, the capital and technological investment at scale, it is just not plausible. I think that coming together makes a lot of sense to manufacture that scale. I think also, just in terms of having a seat at the table and being able to influence some of the direction of open banking, in terms of the standards and the way that the legislation gets rolled out, it’s going to be much more effective for those 5.9 million members through their credit unions to speak with one voice because they have obviously a lot more clout than if they all separate and go on their own. I think, yes, it’s a very good point. I think when we look at the rollout and the things are going to happen the next couple of years, open banking coming together makes a lot of sense.

Dianne Cupples:

Do you think that the credit union movement in the way that they could come together and share those resources actually gives them an advantage over the larger banks? And if so, why?

Don Coulter:

Yeah. I have worked both in the banking system, Dianne. I have been a banker with a large bank, as well as I worked for a credit union, and now I work for a midsize bank. I have seen a few things so far in my career. In Canada, the big banks versus the credit unions are typically seen as a David versus Goliath kind of situation, right? The Goliath being the big banks, and then the credit unions being little David. With that, I could probably give you a list of advantages that the banks have. It is much longer than the credit unions. But I think one thing that the credit unions can do is they can be more nimble, and they can be more agile, especially when it comes to technology. I think that open banking is going to spur a growth in innovation as I mentioned before, and I think you are going to see more success of FinTechs as well. Well, who is better to work with a FinTech? Some may think a big bank, but the large banks are not always the easiest to partner with. Their technology is complex, they’ve already got big scale, in the way they do things. For a small startup FinTech to work with those big Goliaths can be intimidating and it can take quite a long time. I think an advantage that the credit system has is that they can embrace a partnership with a FinTech or a technology company, they can invest the time because the relative ROI are impacted when you get as much more significant. I do think, truly, that there are some advantages that the credit system will have with open banking over the big banks for sure.

Dianne Cupples:

That’s great. Now, you’ve keyed on a point there, access to FinTech and technology partners. How do you see working with partners evolving in the future as open banking becomes more widely adopted? You have hinted that the credit unions might have the ability to work more agilely and take advantage of newer FinTechs faster than the banks. What would you be looking for in a partner today, and then to help you in the future as you grow?

Don Coulter:

Well, I heard someone speak about this recently, about open banking and credit unions and banks and FinTechs. The thinking went to, in the future, the relationship that banks have with developers, coders, computer scientists – those who can develop code is going to be a critical success factor for them to move ahead. If you think about that, banks typically do not have a huge amount of technologists inside their company. They have people running architecture and operations, the core, the network and things like that. But in terms of developing new innovative applications and different types of ways of banking, they do not have a lot of those internally in their organizations; but they need them. Obviously, they are going to have to partner with organizations, whether it is FinTechs, as I mentioned a few times, or technology companies in order to have that synergistic one plus one equals three partnership so that they can get into market more quickly. To me, it is going to be very critical. Also, when you look around where we are today, hopefully at the end of the pandemic, we are seeing this massive fourth industrial revolution. Digitization is happening all around us. What that is actually resulting in is a dearth, a shortage of technology people. Companies are finding already today that as they want to digitize their agenda and their business model, it is hard to find those. That talent was always scarce in technology in this country has become even more scarce. I think a forecast here would be in the next three years is that it is going to get much, much more scarce. The ability to hire these people into your banks is going to be challenging, and so I think getting strategic partnerships with technology firms and leading technology providers is going to be critical. I would say right now do it now before it is too late. 

Dianne Cupples:

Let’s switch gears a little bit. Concentra offers a wide range of products and services. You have said it yourself – that open banking will allow us to bring different innovative and unique products to market. We spoke about it through FinTech partners, and technology partners. Let’s look at what it means to the servicing side. Concentra does servicing on behalf of, as we have said, credit unions and brokers. You have a wide variety of different business verticals that you support, as you outlined at the beginning in the introduction. How do you see the adoption of open banking supporting the servicing side of your business model? Where do you see some opportunities or even some challenges?

Don Coulter:

Yes, it is a good question. I will get to open banking in a moment. I think when we look at our strategy at Concentra – we are a bank that is owned by the credit union system that serves both the credit unions themselves and their members, as well as the Canadian public and Canadian businesses. We are quite intertwined. We essentially have had for some time, although do not call this a platform strategy, where if you look at the credit union platform we have, we have 230 credit unions that we service and sell products to. We are able to tap into our ecosystem of specialized mortgage providers, specialized banking providers to be able to connect those two together in our platform. As we grow that, there are network effects as well. We have to service that relationship and we need to have great technology to do it because the consumer wants that “Uber”-like slick seamless experience in how we service our platform and how we provide the great products that members of credit unions want, and non credit union customers as well. Now, open banking, I think, creates a pretty intriguing opportunity because it will, I believe, allow us to provide product propositions for people that they can gain access to more easily. Today, there is some stickiness in the relationship. It is sometimes difficult to move away from your bank. If you are a business, for example, you often do not leave unless something bad goes, something bad happens or you are growing, or something like that. But with open banking, it makes the portability of the customer much easier; it is much easier for it to happen. I think that when we are servicing customers, getting the ability for customers to move more of their products is something that is quite intriguing. I think also just having more data, and better, rich, robust data allows us to move more on a more agile basis and more quickly. If we are looking at things like mortgage decisions, having better data and more granular data allows you to measure the risk much better, allows you to price the risk as well. I think it can be a facilitation to speed of transactions, ease up service, which is really what customers want, and again, going back to what I said earlier, Dianne, overall growth in options in how you would bank. We are certainly focusing on that; the servicing perspective and thinking about it as we charter our strategy for open banking. 

Dianne Cupples:

That’s great. That’s great. As you know, Portfolio+ is on our journey to the cloud with our open banking solution. The driver behind that was really to enable us with the ability to deliver more efficiently and frequently, and it also sets the stage to support our customers in their digital transitions or transformations today, and perhaps for open banking in the future. We are currently targeting an API release every 30 days so that our customers can have access to it and be as responsive and to use your word “agile” as much as possible to be prepared for their markets. We have talked about how it will help your servicing side. You have offices in Regina, Saskatoon, British Columbia, Toronto. I think you are well across most of Canada. What about your internal business opportunities for Concentra? Does open banking and APIs provide any efficiency to your team and specifically that supports your 400 employees that are going to service your customers? Does it help you there at all?

Don Coulter:

I think it does. We have a number of FinTech partnerships. Some are customer facing and some are more embedded internally in the company to help us do our business more easily; to improve the employee experience. We have one such partnership with a FinTech. It has helped to improve our overall mortgage loan origination system. We have gone from where we were a few years ago from a manual, Excel-based environment to one that is quite seamless, very intuitive, really tailored to the type of business we have. Again, with open banking, being able to get more data and more rich data, combined data, is going to help us internally as well. I will give you an example. We do mortgages often for people who are running their own business. Typically, in Canada, if you are running your own business as opposed to being an employee, it can be a little bit more difficult to qualify for a mortgage, because your personal financial matters are intertwined with your business. Sometimes it is harder to demonstrate for a bank loan officer what your overall picture is, and for that reason, it can be difficult to get a loan, or you might have to pay more, or it might take longer. Open banking with the collection and aggregation of all the data together, is going to give that one transparent view. For our people inside, our loan officers or adjudicators or underwriters, they are going to be able to see a more transparent, more complete picture and be able to make a better decision for the bank, which is always a good thing. We want to make sure we are making quick decisions, but also to be able to make a better customer experience for the borrower because we will be able to get back to them more quickly. You will not have to have a back and forth on questions. Often in lending decisions, it can go back and forth, back and forth, and I think it can with some of the advents, some of the developments and things that open banking could provide, it will make that a much faster experience. 

Dianne Cupples:

That’s great. I can see how it would benefit definitely on the lending application side and the commercial lending side as well, too. That is an even more complex process. Let’s talk about financial systems now and regulatory oversight. Canada is well known for having strength in our financial systems. Many people think that our strength there is why we weathered the 2008 crisis so well. As a bank and servicing provincially regulated credit unions, your regulation must be top of mind for you in everything that you are doing. What would be the ideal approach in your mind to the regulations or standards that come forward for open banking, especially since you are playing in both markets, both regulation areas?

Don Coulter:

Yeah, that’s great question. As a banker, regulations are everything. We can fully comply, we need to make sure that we are very strong in terms of regulatory compliance because we are in the trust based business. Our customers have to trust us. The investing market has to have great credibility in the organization; secret credibility. Our regulators, of course. We are always spending time upping our game on regulations. I think your point about 2008 and how we sustained in Canada so well, this credit crisis that happened south of the border, it is kind of a testament to the strength of the Canadian banking system. I also think, though, that there is a balance or a trade-off between strength and rigorousness of regulations on the one hand, and innovation on the other. If the regulations are crafted in a way that are just stifling or just too difficult, then you are not going to have much innovation happening. I think you used the word, Dianne, striking the balance. I think it is that striking the balance between making sure that there is confidence in the Canadian marketplace, in the financial institutions that Canadians deal with, while also creating a welcoming environment and incentive for new players to come in. Really, I would say, in a positive way, shake things up in terms of providing better banking for Canadians. We’d like to see one standard, which is the pathway that is happening. Our regulators are great in Canada, and they do want to do that balance that I mentioned to you, but things are moving quickly. I think there has to be good collaboration within the industry, meaning the banks and with the regulators to talk about what open banking could bring. I believe that it is actually a potential solution to better prudential regulatory oversight because, again, you are going to have more transparency. I think better control, as well with data, when it is done right. Things like anti-money laundering regulations and customer regulations can be, I think, accomplished better, more effectively and please regulators as well when you have again more data, aggregated data, richness of data, and you have one version of the truth data as well. I think the opportunities are there and I think we will get there. I think it might take a bit of time. But that is something I can see being a really positive aspect in open banking. 

Dianne Cupples:

It is interesting the way you put that. Agree we have great stability, but some people do believe that that stability has restricted our ability to be innovative to have a market with competition and for consumers to have the ability of choice, and I think you said it earlier, to ease of movement across the different banking solutions and systems that are available today. I think as a consumer now, if we look at it, it not only gives you the ability to make better informed decisions, but I think you could also say it does the same for the consumers. I now have access to all my financial products across one view, and I get to control my information, who I am working with, how I share it, and that in itself could be powerful. Do you see it having that same benefit for the consumers of banks?

Don Coulter:

Yes, 100%, because this is all about the consumer. You talked about the credit union ethos of customer experience and member experience, and this ultimately – it is about the safety and soundness of the banking system, for sure. But it is all about the consumer, putting more power in the hands of the consumer, giving them those things you talked about. More transparency, more control, more understanding. I think people are becoming more alive to the fact in society that their data is used in ways they maybe did not understand it. You look at some social media companies, of course, and others who are monetizing their data. If people want to control it, then they want to have the traceability as well. But I think that in addition to that consciousness of knowing where is my data, who is using it, do I have control of it, can I see it all? What really excites me in Concentra is the innovative growth we are going to see in the future, where there will be that incentive and the facilitation to have new players, new FinTechs, and new innovative companies provide solutions to banking we never even thought about before in this country. I find that exciting. 

Dianne Cupples:

We cannot not talk about the pandemic because we have been living through it. It has been a challenging year for consumers in Canada, all over the world as a result. You have mentioned it a little bit earlier in our conversation. It has impacted our financial economy. We have had many consumers that have had job losses, we have talked about business financing challenges, closures, and many other things that we have had to face. Thankfully, as you mentioned, it looks like we are coming out the other end on the pandemic, which is wonderful, and things are starting to open back up. But I think open banking has the opportunity to change the financial ecosystem, like we have said, in a very positive way. As we shift and focus on recovery, financial institutions, and we have talked about a few things that need to provide access to funding other products and other new services. Other than what we have talked about already, do you see any other possible use cases for open banking in Canada that might help in our post-pandemic recovery, and to your point, even future growth?

Don Coulter:

I think that there are many. I think I mentioned before the possibility of the unbundling of banking, which is unsettling to some bankers, I think. It may happen, may not. But I think with that, you could see the conditions for more peer-to-peer lending. If you and I know each other’s data, and you have some excess capital, and I need some capital, right now the bank is an intermediary. But in the future, could the bank play a different role, maybe on a platform, to facilitate the connections but actually have more of a potentially direct lending relationships? If you think about, well, open banking will give more certification of the data, you have a much better way to assess the veracity of someone’s financial position if they choose to give consent for you to see it. Then if you look at platforms like eBay or Amazon where you have a choice to conduct commerce, but you can actually see the rating of the seller. Based on a certain rating score, you get confidence that this is a place that I want to do business with if you read reviews. I think open banking, just thinking outside the box, it could lead to proliferation of more direct banking. Us as bankers need to think about what role do we play if there is a disintermediation of banking? I don’t think that we are going to not need banks; I think that banks will always have a role, but I think we need to evolve and think about that. Peer-to-peer lending. The opposite side of that, of course, is investing as well. Coming out of the pandemic, there are significant percentages of the population that have been badly affected. Their credit has been bruised, their small business has been damaged or even gone insolvent. I think they are going to have a harder time to rebuild their credit to get back up into a place where they can stand up on both feet and move ahead. I think another thing that is happening is innovation around the development of new methods of having a credit scoring. Traditionally, we had a credit score or a Beacon Score here, a FICO Score in the US, that was based on very traditional metrics of for example, if it is for a mortgage, what is the loan to value of the house versus the mortgage size? What is your capacity to repay based on your service coverage ratios? Well, now I know that there are innovative ways of doing credit scoring based on things like behavior, social media indices, lots of AI and machine learning. I think that the model of an AI lending decisioning system is great, but it needs to have the fuel or the data from open banking. I think that can help people. Hopefully, there will be an industry. I think there is always innovation that happens. An industry will look at some of the people who maybe are getting back on their both two feet, as I mentioned, after the pandemic, and give them a chance and lend to them based on some assurance they get with alternative scoring measures. 

Dianne Cupples:

Those are great use cases. It’s exciting times. It’s really exciting. As a software technology partner with financial institutions, as I said, we are excited to be on the journey with open banking and collaborating with our partners. Concentra has been a great partner for us to work with. In many ways, open banking is already here today. Because we are leveraging APIs, we are leveraging interfaces and connections with other technology partners. We just do not have the full open banking, consumers own your data…we’re started. We’re on the journey. What steps is Concentra taking now to prepare for open banking?

Don Coulter:

We are working great technology partners like Portfolio+ to make sure that our architecture, our positioning from a technology perspective is flexible, cloud-based, ready for us to grow and scale. What we are going to need and with our strategies going forward is we are doing lots of research and consultation with experts. We are looking at what was the UK experience? How has it been so far? How about Australia? Even Brazil- looking at other countries. In Canada, you can sometimes see the future of banking by looking to other jurisdictions around the world. With that, we are thinking about … Our core strategy, again, as I mentioned earlier in our chat, was that we use partners. When we look to the market to bring innovative new product lines, we are not a coding shop ourselves. We are working through open APIs with FinTech partners to bring in great innovative solutions that are giving great customer experiences. We are thinking about with that open API FinTech partnership strategy, how do we feel all the benefits of open banking that will come forward? We are consulting, we are setting up our strategy for a few years ahead, and we are thinking about some of these partnerships that we want to have. We are thinking about doing things. To foster innovation, we have often had internal hackathons with our employees, asking them to come up with great ideas how to make the company better. We have an idea now to potentially do an external hackathon. Invite FinTechs to come in with ideas on how they would utilize open banking for a consumer-driven solution to improve things, and have a contest and give out some prizes, maybe commit to a partnership with them as well. We are  thinking a lot about it. We had board meetings just this week, and we got intel from banking, really good discourse on you know, what are the opportunities, how do we even do it right? So lots of wheels in motion, Dianne. 

Dianne Cupples:

That’s great. You mentioned about looking at other markets and see how they are doing, and the UK is having great success. We have talked about how you are preparing for open banking. What would you tell the customer or the member to do to prepare now to start preparing to understand and get ready for open banking and what would you tell the credit unions to do? What would you guide those two players? Because we need us all to come together. What would you think they should be doing now?

Don Coulter:

I think that on the credit unions, we have had webinars at Concentra nationwide with credit union leaders, CEOs, CIOs, branch managers; people like that. We have had industry experts like Senator Colin Deacon, and other people who are passionate about this to come in. The first thing we are trying to do to help is awareness. Because it is not necessarily … I think for me, it is really growing exponentially that thinking about open banking, all the things like that. But I think for a lot of people, it is not really under the radar. The first thing with credit unions is to foster awareness and commit to creating a collaborative environment where we can work together. With respect to individual Canadians, I think in this country, we are sometimes criticized for not having the greatest financial literacy. Sometimes, often actually, you hear stories about the debt load that Canadians have, and things like that. I think there has been some great moves by schools in the last five years to introduce more financial courses in high school. I would encourage all Canadians to do their own research because you are responsible for your own financial well-being and financial literacy. There is no shortage of information on open banking that you can read, YouTube, online and talk to your financial services professional, your financial planner. If you are at a credit union, go to the Annual General Meeting and ask them, “What are you doing in open banking?” Give us a call at Concentra. We’ll be happy to talk to you about open banking and banking in general, because we have a passion for it. 

Dianne Cupples:

Don, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and Concentra’s approach to open banking and this journey we are on. It was a pleasure. 

Don Coulter:

Dianne, the pleasure is all mine. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it. 

Dianne Cupples:

That’s great, thanks. All the best. To our listeners, thank you for listening to our conversation with Don Coulter from Concentra Bank. For more information, please visit our website at portfolioplus.com/podcast. If you have any feedback, you can reach us or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter at Portfolio+19, and you can subscribe to our podcast series wherever you listen to your podcasts. You can also add yourself to our mailing list and we will notify you when our next podcast is available. Until the next time, all the best everyone. Thank you.

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