Island Savings members to vote on merger
Strong majority of Island Savings employees indicate in recent employee engagement survey that senior leaders at Island Savings are positioning the credit union for long-term success
Island Savings and First West Credit Union today announced they are moving forward with next steps in their proposed merger.
As a democratically-led cooperative, Island Savings members must vote on special resolutions before the organizations can legally come together at year-end. Voting will take place by mail-in ballot or in person at any branch from November 5 to November 12, 2014. The results of the vote will be announced on the Island Savings and First West websites on November 14, 2014.
When the Island Savings and First West boards announced in fall 2013 they were entering discussions, First West board chair Shawn Neumann and Island Savings board chair James McKenzie noted several benefits the arrangement would bring the Island-based credit union’s stakeholders, including:
- Island Savings keeps its name, local leadership, local decision-making and community focus.
- Improved pricing, products and service delivery for Island Savings members.
- Protection for employees due to no layoffs as a direct result of the merger. Both organizations currently operate and will continue to use a distributed, multi-site administration centre model.
- No branch closures as a result of the merger as First West and Island Savings have no branch overlaps.
- Increased lending capacity for small- and mid-sized businesses due to combined financial resources.
- Extension of non-banking services, such as auto and equipment leasing, to Island communities.
- Greater economic and geographic diversity. A broader footprint across the province allows the local organizations to better weather local economic challenges or pressures.
- One of the most extensive credit union networks in B.C., extending from the central and south Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, through to the Fraser Valley, north to Kitimat and throughout the south central interior.
Following months of due diligence, the business case was submitted to the regulator, the Financial Institutions Commission, in November 2013 after the boards found there was a very compelling proposition in the two credit unions coming together.