Community Wins

Merger is a Win for the Community!

The proposed merger between First West Credit Union and Island Savings is a win for the Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities.

Recently the credit unions announced their intention to establish a $2 million endowment to benefit the Island communities pending the results of the member vote of the merger of Island Savings into First West Credit Union.

“Through the creation of the Island Savings Community Endowment-the largest contribution into the First West Foundation to date-we are reinforcing that we are dedicated to acting local and empowering Islanders to make even more community investment decisions locally” says Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union.

Credit union leaders and members are often concerned about the impact of mergers on the community. Often we see credit unions finding ways to create even greater contributions to the community as a result of a merger.

First West Credit Union has been an innovator in the “Partnership Model” of mergers. Their model allows the credit unions to retain their local brand and leadership, while simultaneously benefiting from the economies of scale of a larger credit union. As part of the merger model the credit union has established endowments benefiting the merger partners.

“This Island Savings endowment within the First West Foundation will provide support in addition to our Growing Island Families Together program,” says Rod Dewar, Island Savings CEO. “This much-needed funding from the endowment complements perfectly the important work we already do for families in our communities each year, taking our ability to give back to another level.

First West Credit Union’s “Work Big. Work Local” approach to mergers is a blueprint to mergers that we expect many more credit unions to implement in the future.