Celebrating our authentic difference on International Credit Union Day

LANGLEY, B.C. (Oct. 18, 2016) — This year, credit unions around the world will mark International Credit Union Day on Oct. 20. This is the day where credit unions reflect on what it means to be part of the global cooperative banking movement, look back at its history, celebrate its many achievements, and look forward to new opportunities. 
Although consumers nowadays have an abundance of choices when considering the financial services sector, and the products, services and operations offered by credit unions closely resembles those of the big banks, there are still some major differences that separate the two. The biggest differences are credit unions’ commitment to local ownership and leadership, investment in their local communities, and member service excellence.
Notably, as reported in Ipsos 2016 Best Banking Awards, the overall customer service excellence award for 2016 among all financial institutions in the retail banking sector was awarded to Canada’s credit unions, an aggregate of individual credit unions across the country. This annual awards program recognizes Canadian financial institutions for excellence in customer service. This is the twelfth consecutive year that credit unions in Canada have received this award. Additionally, Canadian cooperatives were also award recipients in numerous categories including the ‘Values my Business’ and ‘Branch service excellence’ categories.
“At First West, our focus, first and foremost, has always been on serving the needs of our members,” says Bryan Mavrow, senior vice-president of marketing and communications. “By keeping banking simple, offering innovative products and services and focusing on serving and giving back to our local communities, we’re able to deliver a genuine and meaningful banking experience for our members.”
Quick Facts
  • First West has launched more than 20 new products, services and improvements within the last two years to make banking even simpler for its members, including the Simply Free Account™ and Unlimited Chequing for Business® at Island Savings, StepUp™ term deposits, online budgeting and banking platforms, Mobile Pay and Interac Flash, and major renovations at several branches including the opening of Envision Financial’s new-concept branch in Cloverdale’s Brick Yard Station.
  • Since 2010, First West has contributed $10.3 million towards building healthier communities through its signature causes The Full Cupboard and Feed the Valley and the First West Foundation
  • As part of its 2016 Make a Difference Days, more than 400 First West employees volunteered their time in support of 43 community projects in communities across British 
  • Over the last three years, First West employees spent nearly 23,000 hours, or the equivalent of 2,594 days helping those in need and building our local communities
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
Cheryl Shaw
Manager, PR & Communications