Things we believe
Creating unrivaled banking experiences
We bring real value to members by reinventing ourselves and our business again and again. Only by working together can we offer innovative solutions that help local communities thrive.
Our focus is on making decisions as close to members as possible. We work big to act local which means using our scale and resources to meet members’ needs.
Create remarkable experiences
As a cooperative, we treat everyone with dignity, respect and honesty. As stewards for our members, we protect them from risk and provide thoughtful advice to meet their unique needs.
Lead with courage
We’re forward thinking when it comes to serving members and communities. Every day we make courageous decisions keeping their best interests at heart.
Equity, inclusion and diversity
Our commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity
First West’s foundational values demand that we, as an organization, actively strive for equity, inclusion and diversity. We believe in cultivating an environment in which every First West employee, member and community partner—both present and future—is valued for their uniqueness and is empowered to thrive. Learn more.
First West was formed in 2010, but our roots date back to 1946
Our brands—Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial—each have decades of history as locally known and trusted institutions. They were built through entrepreneurial spirit, seeking to address unique or unmet financial needs in their communities. Today, as First West Credit Union, we’re still driven by this same solution-oriented, inspirational mindset.
A clear and compelling vision for the future has produced years of successful growth and transformation at our credit union, from welcoming new brands to First West, to introducing innovative new products, to making impactful contributions to our communities.
First West Foundation launches $600,000 Community Response Fund
As the charitable sector faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, First West Foundation responded by establishing a low-barrier Community Response Fund aimed at helping local charities as quickly as possible. Grants helped these organizations continue delivering programs and services to those most vulnerable in communities served by First West’s divisional brands.
Island Savings raises 650,000 meals for food banks
A full six months earlier than anticipated, Island Savings achieves its goal of raising funds equivalent to 650,000 meals for Island families. This accomplishment, made possible through support from members, employees and the community, is part of The Full Cupboard, our community program to raise food, funds and awareness for community food banks.
First West hits $10 billion in assets under management
Doubling in size since first formed in 2010, this milestone secures First West’s standing as the fifth largest credit union in Canada.
Also this year, First West becomes the first financial institution in Canada to offer SendGlobal™ which enables members to send money with incredible ease to more than 80 countries around the world.
Valley First raises $1 million for food banks
Valley First’s signature cause program Feed The Valley surpasses its goal of donating $1 million to local food banks—a full four years ahead of schedule. Close to 70,000 pounds of food are also donated in that time.
This same year First West launches its social vision, Lead Well, which encourages employees to volunteer their time and talents with charitable organizations.
Island Savings joins First West
As the newest divisional brand, Island Savings adds 16 locations across Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands to the First West branch network. More than 2,200 Island Savings members begin benefitting from the Simply Free Account®.
First West merges with Enderby & District Financial
Through the First West model, Enderby & District Financial retains its local brand identity and community focus. Residents in the North Okanagan begin benefiting from products and services not previously available in their community.
Also this year, Envision Financial launches its signature cause program, The Full Cupboard, and sets a goal to raise $1 million and 100,000 pounds of food by 2023.
Members begin benefitting from the Simply Free Account®
Our signature chequing account is made available to members for the first time. With no monthly fee, unlimited day-to-day transactions and unlimited free Interac e-Transfers within Canada, the Simply Free Account® is a stark contrast to the trend seen at other financial institutions at the time.
First West introduces Lean methodology
Lean tools and training are made available to employees across First West, engaging everyone as solution creators, not just a select few. This set our course as a continuous improvement organization, one that adapts to change and searches for a better way to get things done.
First West Credit Union is formed
On Jan. 1, 2010, the financial assets, membership and operations of Envision Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union are integrated under the First West Credit Union banner.