Government’s red tape reductions good for credit unions, British Columbians: First West

LANGLEY, B.C. (March 1, 2017) — Today’s announcement by the Government of British Columbia to cut red tape and allow for electronic disclosure statements on fixed loan agreements, credit card and lease agreements was met with strong support by First West Credit Union.

“Allowing credit unions like First West the option to provide electronic disclosures to our members better reflects the ways in which consumers want to receive information from their local financial institution in this digital age,” says First West Credit Union CEO Launi Skinner. “While the change will save us several thousand work hours and a modest amount of expense associated with printing and mailing, perhaps the most important thing about today’s announcement is simply that waste or red tape is being cut. We’re encouraged to see government focusing on legislation, regulation and practices that address the changing expectations of consumers and the speed of business.”

“Mailing disclosures to British Columbians who would prefer to receive them electronically benefits no one. Today’s changes mean we can refocus efforts onto service areas that our members truly value. We look forward to significantly more red tape being cut as the government modernizes legislation through the Financial Institution Act review that is currently underway.”

Skinner says that First West transformed itself into a leading Lean organization seven years ago, with 55% of the credit union’s staff trained in basic Lean practices and with 12% of its 1750 staff holding an advanced white-, green-, or black-belt Lean designation. Adapting and advancing Toyota’s Lean manufacturing philosophy to suit the First West’s financial services environment has been a central part of Skinner’s mandate as CEO of one of Canada’s fastest growing credit unions. “Our entire focus at First West is to make banking simple for British Columbians,” says Skinner. “We’re developing a strong cultural discipline of continuous improvement, but we also look to our partners and to government to reduce the needless headaches and hassle of day-to-day banking for Canadians.”

About First West Credit Union
First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia’s third-largest credit union with nearly $11 billion in assets under administration, close to 250,000 members and more than 1,700 employees. It operates 54 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Enderby & District Financial and Island Savings divisions. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information.

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Media Contact
Jason Brown
Manager, Public Relations & Communications
604.539.7415
mediarelations@firstwestcu.ca