Vancity eyes Alert Bay move

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, commonly known as Vancity, has formally expressed an interest in establishing a presence in Alert Bay.

David Faren

Gazette correspondent

ALERT BAY—Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the Vancouver-based institution commonly known as Vancity, has formally expressed an interest in establishing a presence in Alert Bay.

According to a press release from the Village of Alert Bay, “Vancity’s proposal was the most attractive. The Village, together with the ‘Namgis, solicited proposals from several financial institutions to set up operations here in Alert Bay after the ‘untimely departure’ of the Coastal Community Credit Union in July.”

Several other institutions were considered, including BMO, CIBC, and the Royal Bank.

According the Heather Nelson-Smith, Village CAO, many details still need to be worked out, including location of any on-island presence. The Island does not expect to see Vancity here “for a few months”. According to Nelson-Smith this will not likely be until sometime early in 2015. Vancity’s move here and the level of services provided is contingent on having the “vast majority of residents and businesses to switch their banking to Vancity,” the press release continues.

Vancity’s proposal includes one or more days per week of on-island teller services and on-island cash services. Additionally Vancity will offer, monthly, an on-island loans and investment accounts manager and part time employment for one on-island teller. The Village’s statement says “Vancity has a mandate to provide the island with specialized and tailored products.” Some of the tailored services will be “financial literacy training, personal loan products, micro and small business loans,” and several investment products.

Cormorant Island has been without banking services since Coastal Community closed its operations July 5, in a move that also included shutting down branches in Sointula and Quadra Island.

“We believe we have found a forward thinking, innovative financial institution that can work as a partner with our community,” Nelson-Smith said.