News & Media

Financial news can be boring, but not with PenFinancial. Learn about new products and services that benefit you. Find out how PenFi is helping in your community. From new products and promotional offers to up-to-the-minute credit union news, you’ll find the latest news and announcements from PenFinancial here.

 
Media inquiries, please contact

Kerry Ould, Chief Marketing Officer
kerry.ould@penfinancial.com

 

View annual reports →

Latest news

January 24, 2023

As you may be aware, over the past week, PenFinancial was subjected to a “brute force” attack whereby fraudsters attempted to gain access to Online Banking accounts by targeting accounts with weak passwords.

Our security systems acted as expected by alerting us to unusual activity and then automatically locking any Online Banking accounts after multiple failed attempts to guess passwords. While it may not seem it, this is very positive as it protected accounts against losses, and reinforces that the vast majority of our members had selected secure passwords.

When we became aware of the incident, we took immediate action to protect and monitor member accounts. We also launched an internal investigation and engaged external experts to help assess the situation. We can confirm that only a very limited number of accounts were compromised and we immediately began to work directly with those members impacted; as well as alerting the relevant authorities. We also posted an update on the home page of PenFinancial.com and updated all frontline staff and will continue to follow up with impacted members as appropriate.

Unfortunately, these fraudulent access attempts resulted in a large number of member accounts being locked by our security system. This has required members to either visit a branch, or call our Contact Centre to be reset. We understand this is frustrating, however it was a necessary step to prevent fraudulent activity on these accounts.

Understandably, as part of this process we need to ensure the identity of each member before we can reset the accounts, or we simply re-open the door to the fraudsters. This has resulted in longer than usual wait times in branch and over the phone. We appreciate that your time is valuable and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.

These types of attacks are not unique to PenFinancial, and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attempts. We take your privacy and protection very seriously as we know it is the foundation of our relationship with you. We want to assure you that we have industry standard protections in place for online banking and that as soon as we became aware of the incident we took swift and aggressive action to rectify the situation and completed a thorough investigation. We are also taking steps to prevent such an incident from happening again.

It is always important to remain vigilant. Please see our Digital Banking Tips page for more security tips about online banking and remember to be suspicious about unusual activity – if you receive an e-mail or call from PenFinancial, please ensure it is an authentic request – you can reach out to our Contact Centre at 1-866-866-6641 if you have any questions about the authenticity of a request

I would like to personally thank all of our members for their patience during this time. I recognize that this has been an incredibly frustrating situation for all involved, but it has shown us that the security systems we already have in place have been incredibly effective, and also that there is more that we can do proactively

Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Please contact our Contact Centre at 1-866-866-6641 if you have any questions.

Theresa Bird
CEO, PenFinancial Credit Union

January 17, 2023

UPDATE Jan 18

Security Alert – updates

UPDATES: If you recently reset your Online Banking password (PAC)

Here are some tips to ensure that your old password isn’t automatically being entered and inadvertently locking you out again. We have heard from some members where these factors have been the root cause of their Online Banking account being locked a second time.

  1. Make sure that any memorized passwords in your web browser are cleared
  2. If you are a Mobile App user, make sure you update your Quick View settings by turning Quickview off and logging out. Then log back in and turn Quickview on. This will update the password within Quickview.
  3. If you use any third party financial management apps, such as Mint or Quickbooks, ensure you are also updating these

In the short term, you will also be asked your security challenges on each login to ensure the security of your account – even if you select “Register this computer”.

----

On January 11, 2023, we communicated that our security systems identified attempts to gain access to member accounts through Online Banking, targeting accounts with weak passwords. Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming increasingly common-place, affecting not only financial institutions, but also other companies and organizations that hold personal data criminals look to access.

We are continuing our investigation and can confirm that only a limited number of members have been impacted and that the security protocols we have in place performed as expected and automatically locked accounts after multiple failed attempts to guess passwords. We have been in contact with those members who have been affected and we have also reported this incident to the authorities.

The intention of these criminals is to gain access to funds and subsequently transfer the funds elsewhere through a variety of means, such as Interac Online Payments, setting up new Interac e-Transfer recipients to transfer money by email, or setting up new bill payees through Online Banking. In an abundance of caution, we have temporarily disabled some of these features for some members while we complete our investigations.

What can you do to improve the security of your Online Banking?

  • Ensure your PenFinancial Online Banking / Mobile App password is strong, consisting of a minimum of 8 characters including upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers. Your Online Banking password should be unique and not used to access other websites. Learn how to change your password here.
  • Set up Alerts on your account so you are notified of any new activity, such as new logins, addition of new bill payees, or e-Transfer recipients.
  • Ensure you are set up for Autodeposit if you receive e-Transfers from others. Autodeposit allows you to receive funds directly into an assigned account without needing to answer the usual security question so it is less likely to be compromised. See how to set up Autodeposit here.

If you need assistance with Online Banking

  • If you are having trouble accessing your Online Banking or any of the functionality and require assistance, you can reach out to us at you may call our Contact Centre at 1-866-866-6641 for assistance. View our Contact Centre hours here. We have temporarily assigned additional team members to the Contact Centre to assist with call volumes.
  • If you require assistance paying a bill, transferring funds, or have other day to day banking needs, you can also visit your local branch.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and assure you that we take the security of our banking systems very seriously. We continue to work with our technology partners to constantly update our systems, and introduce additional security enhancements for our members.

January 11, 2023

Security Alert

We have been alerted to fraudulent attempts to gain unauthorized access to some member accounts through Online Banking.

As a result of the safeguards already in place to ensure our systems are secure, multiple failed login attempts against a member account have resulted in these accounts being automatically locked to protect them from unauthorized access. While we recognize that this is an inconvenience to our members, these protocols have been effective at preventing significant losses.

If your Online Banking account has been locked, you may call our Contact Centre at 1-866-866-6641 for assistance. View our Contact Centre hours here.

For an added layer of protection, we have also implemented additional temporary safeguards, including requiring you to answer the security questions you selected at the time of setting up your Online Banking access each time you login, and disabling the ability to add new bill payees and Interac e-Transfer recipients through Online Banking.

These attacks specifically target accounts with weak passwords, and as per previous communications, we remind all members to ensure they are using a strong password with a mix of uppercase letters, lower case letters and numbers; and to use a password that is unique to Online Banking.

Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming increasingly common-place, affecting not only financial institutions, but also other companies and organizations that hold personal data criminals look to access.

For additional ways you can help ensure your Online Banking is secure, view our Digital Banking How-to guides for more tips.

September 28, 2022

PenFinancial Credit Union donates to the Hurricane Fiona Relief Fund

Hurricane Fiona has caused untold damage along the Atlantic Coast, affecting families and communities with torrential rain and flooding that has destroyed homes and businesses.

To help support the recovery efforts, PenFinancial Credit Union has made a $5,000 donation to the Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal. Through this donation, the Canadian Red Cross will be able to provide emergency relief, humanitarian aid, and support recovery and resilience for those impacted by this disaster.

Read the full news release →

August 3, 2022

PenFinancial Credit Union welcomes Theresa Bird as new Chief Executive Officer

Theresa-Bird-600x400

PenFinancial Credit Union is pleased to announce Theresa Bird as the credit union’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2022.

Joining PenFinancial as Chief Retail Officer in January 2021, then becoming its Chief Operating Officer, Theresa comes to the role with nearly 40 years of experience in the financial services sector – experience that has shaped her belief that financial service to members and the community can and should be a rewarding and valuable experience, for staff and members alike.

Theresa will succeed outgoing CEO Ken Janzen, who will officially retire September 30.

Read the full news release →

July 26, 2022

PenFinancial Credit Union partners with CMHA Niagara and Armstrong Strategy Group on Trauma-informed Care Champion Learning Collaborative

A newly-released survey by the University at Buffalo’s Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) illustrates the impact trauma has on these Niagara sectors: Not only have the vast majority of clients faced trauma, it’s also an issue for agency staff, who often experience trauma vicariously through their clients. To support community agencies better support their clients, PenFinancial Credit Union has announced funding funding for community agencies to become trauma-informed through a program called “Trauma-Informed Care Champion Learning Collaborative” delivered by ITTIC.

Read the full news release →

May 25, 2022

PenFinancial Credit Union officially opens new branch in Niagara Falls

An official opening ceremony was held on May 24th for PenFinancial's newest branch at 7190 Morrison St. in Niagara Falls Ontario. During the opening ceremonies a donation was made to Project Share as part of our Truly Local Commitment.

Read the full news release →

View the news release archive →

Fast Facts about PenFinancial Credit Union

PenFinancial is a truly local values-based credit union that is committed to improving the lives of over 20,000 members and businesses. We delivers a full range of financial services online, by mobile, and through a network of 8 branches across Niagara and Haldimand County.

Through our Truly Local Commitment, we are a Certified B Corporation and Living Wage employer, and we commit to investing a portion of our profits back into the communities we serve.

Our mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities.

  • Over 20,000 Members strong
  • 100% owned by Members, whom each own a share
  • Over $800 million in assets
  • Our 100 employees live and work in Niagara and Haldimand County
  • Open bonded credit union, anyone can join