Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

September 08, 2005 17:25 ET

Coast Capital Takes Free Chequing Savings to Students and Youth

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 8, 2005) - Coast Capital Savings' free chequing account has been such a big hit with 18- to 24- year-olds the credit union wants to bring its savings value to more young adults and students this fall.

More than 20 per cent of new customers who have signed up for the credit union's free chequing account following its launch in January fall within the 18 to 24 age bracket, although this group makes up nine per cent Coast Capital Savings' membership.

Mike Bushore, Coast Capital Savings senior vice president, strategic planning, said getting young adults to become members of the credit union is an investment in its future.

"One of the biggest challenges for financial institutions, especially credit unions, is attracting young adults, who form the nucleus of our future customer base," Bushore said. "Meeting the financial service needs of young adults is key to ensuring a healthy credit union industry for Canadians in the future."

The results of a June 2005 Ipsos ASI survey commissioned by Credit Union Central of B.C. show only 14 per cent of British Columbians 19 to 24 years of age use a credit union as their primary financial institution, with 86 per saying they primarily do business with a bank.

A November 2004 Ipsos Reid survey commissioned by Coast Capital Savings found that 19- to 24- year-olds are heavy debit and ATM users, making on average 296 debit card purchases and 145 ATM transactions a year. This compares to an average 222 debit and 122 ATM transactions a year completed by the larger sample of 800 Canadians 19 to 55 years of age. Nearly all (96 per cent) 19- to 24- year-olds also said they make a debit card purchase at least once a month, compared to 89 per cent in the larger sample(i).

"Although our free chequing account is for everyone regardless of age, young adults tend to make more debit and ATM transactions than the rest of the population, so it makes sense that they would be attracted to an account that offers these for free," said Lawrie Ferguson, Coast Capital Savings senior vice president, marketing. "No student package offered by any bank in Canada goes as far as free chequing in saving students money because there is no gimmick, there's no catch and everything is free."

Maral Artang, 22, a Douglas College student who signed up for Coast Capital Savings' free chequing account, said the money saved can help pay for items like text books and stationery.

"When you're on a student budget, every dollar counts," Artang said. "Switching to free chequing has helped me save a fair chunk of change and the best part is that I can do whatever I want with the money."

The "What's Your Bank Giving You for Free?" campaign kicks off as students head back to school and is aimed at attracting 2,500 young adults to sign up for free chequing this semester.

"A lot of youth marketing is aimed at attracting young people with freebies such as an iPod or some other merchandise, all in the hope of getting them to spend more," said Ferguson. "This is the first youth marketing campaign I know of that does just the opposite by encouraging youth to save more, not spend more."

The tongue-in-cheek campaign includes humorous ads that spoof attempts by financial institutions to attract youth with "free" merchandise. The ads are being sent by e-mail to an opt-in database of 25,000 young adults on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. There were also events at various B.C. campuses. Students interested in the free chequing youth campaign can visit for more information.

More than 30,000 new free chequing accounts have been opened since Coast Capital Savings introduced the Free Chequing, Free Debit and More Account in January.

Coast Capital Savings is Canada's second largest credit union with $7.2 billion in assets, 300,000 members and 46 branches across the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. The credit union was the first full-service financial institution to introduce free chequing in Canada. Coast Capital Savings is one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies and was the recipient of the 2004 Imagine award for being the best corporate citizen in Canada's financial services industry.

(i) Margin of error for sample of 800 Canadians 19 to 55 years of age equals +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. Margin of error for sub-sample of 77 Canadians 19 to 24 years of age equals +/- 11.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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