Accountability

Meeting Attendance

First West’s directors are required to attend a number of scheduled meetings each year. These meetings include quarterly board meetings, a budget meeting, planning sessions and a number of other planned and unplanned special meetings. In addition, each director is required to serve on at least two board committees, which meet at least quarterly.

The organization expects directors to attend as many meetings as possible. Simple attendance, however, does not constitute effective directorship. Rather, the credit union believes it is more important for directors to be thoroughly prepared, to be engaged in meetings and to make a sustained, positive contribution to the credit union’s success.

Reporting attendance is, however, defined as a governance best practice by the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and the Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument 58-101, which sets out corporate governance disclosure guidelines for publicly traded companies. In addition, FICOM's governance guideline for B.C. credit unions specifies that director attendance should be reported for board and committee meetings and educational activities.

Accordingly, the table below lists meeting attendance and educational activities for each First West director and regional council advisor in 2016.

Board Remuneration

First West recognizes that strong corporate governance is a key ingredient to an organization's success.  First West aspires to attract and retain the best directors possible and pay them commensurate with the level of risk, expertise, and expected contribution.

Director compensation
Directors are expected to devote considerable time and energy to fulfilling their obligation to oversee the credit union on behalf of members. Each year, directors are required to attend quarterly board meetings, a budget meeting, planning sessions and a number of other planned and unplanned special meetings. In addition, each director is required to serve on at least two board committees, to travel as necessary and to prepare thoroughly for each meeting.

Compensation is set at a rate comparable with large credit unions, regional financial institutions and publicly traded companies of similar size. In accordance with First West’s rules, director compensation is set by the board on the advice of an independent panel of members, which meets no less than every two years. The compensation panel most recently met in early 2016 and a new policy was approved by the board in July 2016.

Director compensation includes:

  • Annual retainers of $35,000 for directors and $70,000 for the board chair. The Audit and Risk Management Committee chair receives an additional retainer of $10,000 and the chairs of other committees receive additional retainers of $5,000.
  • Directors are paid a set travel fee of $500, regardless of time and distance travelled, when they travel to and from a meeting of other board duty outside the director's designated home region. Travel fees are not paid for travel within a director's home region or to and from community or First West social events.
  • Reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with authorized work performed on behalf of the credit union.