An Ontario credit union’s intention to launch a new national bank is progressing well according to an update from its CEO.

Meridian announced its plan in 2016 with the aim to extend its reach nationwide and disrupt the sector. Although the bank will be separate from the credit union, the two will share the same values and focuses.

Chief executive officer Bill Maurin says that the bank will bring Meridian’s key commitments to be “customer centric, innovative, and competitive” to customers across Canada.

No name has been revealed for the bank, which is expected to launch in the first half of 2019; and it will be offering a digital-only experience “for the foreseeable future.” Customer service will include live video chat.

The new nationwide bank will offer most of the products and services that the credit union offers, including mortgages, and while most prices will be aligned, there may be promotional offers for some products and markets.

Mortgages will not be available to Quebec residents though.

Maurin says that the process of obtaining a banking licence is “well underway” and Meridian is working with OSFI on closing the final steps of the application. He expects formal clearance by the end of 2018.

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