A Credit Union for Hornby’s future

Union Bay Credit Union – Hornby Island Branch. Image credit: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0

Allying with our neighbours in the Salish Sea

By Petra Chambers, Union Bay Credit Union Director
(as published in the First Edition, Hornby Island)

I’ve been a member of the Union Bay Credit Union (UBCU) since the early 1970s when I was a young child. Two years ago, with my own kids grown, I became a director on the UBCU board.

For more than a year, my fellow directors (long-term UBCU members from Bowser, Buckley Bay, Union Bay and Denman) and I have been formally reviewing the possibility of a merger with First Credit Union. In October, we unanimously voted in favour of bringing this opportunity to the UBCU members.

The First Credit Union board engaged in the same process and came to the same conclusion: we believe a merger will bring strength and prosperity to members of both credit unions and to the eight coastal communities we serve.

Combined strength and innovation

This merger comes from a place of strength for both credit unions.

The last two years have been the strongest in UBCU’s 75-year history. First Credit Union is also performing very well, even during all the uncertainty and upheaval of 2020.

We believe we will need those combined strengths to take full advantage of upcoming changes in the financial services industry. Regulatory and technological environments for small credit unions are evolving rapidly. UBCU has done a great job of keeping up with innovation, but we want to do even better in the future.

A credit union for Hornby

Some of the benefits of a merger for our community:

  • Local businesses will have access to improved business banking solutions, including commercial loans, mortgages, project financing, merchant services and an increased level of commercial expertise.
  • Members will have access to a network of eight branches (Hornby, Union Bay, Bowser, Cumberland, Courtenay, Texada Island, Bowen Island, and Powell River).
  • The merger plan doesn’t include any loss of employment. Employees will have more opportunities to develop careers across a broader network of branches.
  • The merger will allow for continued (and enriched) community investment.
  • As a merged organization, we can be small, local and committed to the community, while remaining competitive and innovative.

Merger quick facts

  • If approved, the planned date for the merger is July 1, 2021.
  • The merged credit union will operate under the name First Credit Union*

*It’s called ‘first’ because it was the first credit union in BC.

  • We need UBCU members to vote! The merger will only take place after a strong majority of members give the board direction. Voting will occur in May 2021, with more details to follow.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at 250-208-2899 or Mark Jones,CEO, at 250-898-4928.

Summary

UBCU and First Credit Union are both dedicated to rural and small-island communities. We have a lot in common and have already been collaborating closely for years. This merger will formalize our relationship, and will allow us to leverage the strengths of both organizations.

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