Do you have questions about First West Credit Union's board and governance? Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions here.

What is the role of the board?

First West's board of directors is responsible for overseeing and stewarding the credit union's operations on behalf of members.

While management oversees the day-to-day operation of the credit union, the board provides guidance on long-range objectives, determines policy and monitors the credit union’s overall progress.

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How are directors elected?

Elections are held annually, with directors typically serving three-year terms. A call for nominations is issued to all credit union members in December or early January with those interested in standing for election asked to complete and submit nominations forms.

The nomination form advises candidates of the significant skills and experience the credit union is specifically looking for and encourages expressions of interest from candidates who reflect a diversity of ages, genders, geographical locations and ethnicities/cultures.

All nominees are interviewed by the board's Nominations Task Force to assess their skills and experience and determine the value they could bring to the board if elected. Candidates who possess the characteristics sought by the board are endorsed, though all candidates, endorsed or not, are welcome to stand for election.

A few weeks before the annual general meeting, members are sent a notice that offers information on the candidates, along with instructions on how to vote. The voting period typically runs for about two weeks, and closes before the annual general meeting. Results are announced at the annual general meeting, posted on the credit union's websites and in all branches.

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How is voting conducted?

Voting is currently conducted online and mobile (though First West's online and mobile banking service), by mail-in ballot and in credit union branches. All voting takes place before the annual general meeting and results are announced at the AGM.

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When and where is the annual general meeting held?

First West's 2019 Annual General meeting was held on Tuesday, May 14 at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Should you be interested in viewing the proceedings, you can watch it here.




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How can I get involved with the board?

We are always looking for qualified individuals who would be interested in filling future vacancies on our board of directors. As a director you would be part of a dynamic team responsible for shaping the organization’s strategic direction and ensuring appropriate processes and controls are in place to identify, manage and monitor applicable risks. You would protect and uphold the credit union’s values, exercising judgment with honesty and integrity. You value respect and diversity and appreciate a variety of views crucial to good corporate governance.

If you are interested in learning more about being a director of First West Credit Union, please email governance@firstwestcu.ca.

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How are directors compensated for their work?

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 last compensation review was conducted in the spring of 2018.

Director compensation includes:

  • Annual retainers of $36,750 for directors and $73,500 for the board chair. The chairs of the audit and risk management committee and risk, investment and loan committee receives an additional retainer of $10,000 and the chairs of other committees receive additional retainers of $5,000.
  • Directors are paid a flat-fee annual retainer that compensates them for the board and committee meetings they attend (regardless of number and format, whether in-person or by conference call), system meetings, community events, the credit union's annual general meeting, First West Foundation meetings (if applicable) and other duties related to their roles.
  • Directors are paid a set travel fee of $500, regardless of time and distance travelled, when they travel to and from a meeting or 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.

For more information, please see the Director Compensation and Expense Policy.

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How can I contact the board?

To contact the board, please email governance@firstwestcu.ca.

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