Interview with MSCU on the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC
In the photo: Ms Agnes Ayidote is an ALIDé client and sells fish from her boat. ALIDé, Association de Lutte pour la promotion des Initiatives de Développement is a microfinance institution (MFI) that grants small loans to women with low incomes and to micro entrepreneurs in Cotonou and the surrounding areas. ALIDé offers various micro-enterprise savings and loans products. ALIDé’s clients include female solidarity groups, small traders, craftspeople, farmers, and private and public sector employees. ALIDé gets financing from Oikocredit.
The Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) offers an original impact investment guaranteed income certificate (GIC). Ethiquette interviewed Brian Barsness CIM, Director Investment Services at MSCU on this specific product.
Ethiquette: What is the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC?
Brian Barsness: In February 2015, Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) partnered with Oikocredit, an international co-operative, to offer MSCU members a GIC that provides a local, secure, guaranteed investment AND supports international sustainable development.
The Oikocredit Global Impact GIC offered by MSCU is a guaranteed, RSP-eligible investment certificate.
Here’s how it works…
- MSCU members invest in an Oikocredit Global Impact GIC1,2
- MSCU purchases shares in Oikocredit that match the principal amount invested in the GIC
- Oikocredit uses the funds to promote sustainable development around the world
- MSCU receives an annual return on the shares and investors earn interest on their GIC
- This investment has a global impact earning both a financial and a values return!
- Minimum $500 deposit. An investment in a GIC issued by MSCU is a “qualified investment” under the Income Tax Act (Canada) and, therefore, an RRSP, RRIF, or TFSA can be invested in the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC.
2. Deposit is secure with up to $100,000 insured by the Deposit Insurance Corporation
of Ontario (DICO).
Ethiquette: I suspect that there are a number of Ontarians who’d be interested in putting a portion of their RRSP or TFSA allowable contributions in a impact investment product like this one, how can someone who doesn’t want to change their financial institution still be able to invest in this product?
Brian Barsness: Anyone in Ontario who wants to contribute to global impact through personal investments and who aligns with MSCU’s values is welcome to open a membership and invest in the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC. You don’t have to be Mennonite to join our credit union. We’d love to have all their business of course!
Ethiquette: Is it possible to have portions of your registered accounts (RRSPs etc) with various financial institutions?
Brian Barsness: Although it is possible to have portions of your registered accounts (RRSPs etc) with various financial institutions, it is more effective from a financial planning perspective to have all your RRSPs in one place.
Ethiquette: What’s the difference between this GIC and investing directly in Oikocredit?
Brian Barsness: Unless you are an accredited or institutional investor, you can’t invest in Oikocredit in any other way. And if you are, you would bear the risk of investing directly with Oikocredit, whereas with the Oikocredit Global Impact GIC MSCU is bearing the risk, not the investor.