Credit Union Central of British Columbia

Credit Union Central of British Columbia

September 29, 2005 09:00 ET

Credit Union Central of British Columbia: Philanthropy with a Heart-Credit Unions Gift $13 Million to B.C. Communities

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 29, 2005) - Proving that the People before Profits motto is much more than just another platitude, a recent survey shows that the Savings and Credit Unions of British Columbia invest not only millions of dollars - but their hearts and time - into communities throughout the province.

According to the survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on community giving for 2004, B.C.'s credit unions poured $13 million into such important sectors as health care, education, economic development, arts and culture, and sports teams and associations. As well, credit unions played a key role in boosting local economies by providing some 3,000 loans totalling $1.02 billion to small businesses in their trade areas. This is an increase of $180 million in local business lending in comparison to 2003. And, in recognition of the enormous contribution community and non-profit groups make in B.C., credit unions waived all service charges on interest-bearing accounts for more than 7,000 of these organizations.

Nearly 80 per cent of all credit unions undertook fundraising on behalf of community organizations and charitable causes in 2004, raising $1.14 million. And four in five B.C. credit union employees rolled up their sleeves and donated unpaid time to community endeavours. As well, credit unions are becoming increasingly dedicated to ensuring B.C.'s young adults have access to post-secondary education. Together, the province's credit unions awarded some $351,000 in scholarships and bursaries to hundreds of students in 2004.

"The strength of credit unions in B.C. is that they are locally owned and operated," says Linda Archer, vice-president of marketing at Credit Union Central of British Columbia. "Staff members know their communities inside and out. With their stellar service and large selection of competitive products and services, credit unions are uniquely positioned to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities," Archer says. "People before Profits is truly what we're all about."

The survey shows more credit unions are focusing on creating a strong financial base for future philanthropic efforts. Eleven credit unions now have their own charitable foundations, whose coffers were plumped in 2004 by $2.65 million. Meanwhile, $1.4 million was distributed to B.C. communities from these young, growing foundations.

The Ipsos Reid survey was conducted from mid-May to mid-July this year. Respondents to the online questionnaire were either CEOs, general managers or marketing managers. Thirty-four credit unions responded to the survey.

There are 53 credit unions in B.C. Together, they have more than $32 billion in assets and 1.5 million members, and operate 352 branches in 135 communities, including 40 that have no other financial institution. Credit unions employ more than 8,000 British Columbians.

Contact Information

  • Credit Union Central of British Columbia
    Maria Doyle
    Director, Marketing and Research
    (604) 730-6455