First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union

March 28, 2017 09:00 ET

Launi Skinner: Simplicity and value drive membership growth at First West Credit Union

7,100 net new members in 2016 brings seven-year total to more than 40,000

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 28, 2017) - Remarkable experiences, deep community roots and a local banking alternative continue to drive British Columbians to First West Credit Union.

In 2016, another 7,100 net new members joined First West. Attracted by its commitment to simplifying the banking experience and the connection to trusted local brands -- Valley First, Island Savings, Envision Financial and Enderby & District Financial -- more than 40,000 people across B.C. have joined First West since the credit union was formed in 2010.

Since taking the helm of First West in April 2010, Skinner has worked to return the credit union to its co-operative roots, with a focus on putting money back in the pockets' of its personal and business members.

"Canadians want real value from their financial services provider," says First West Credit Union CEO Launi Skinner. "Rather than focusing on extracting profit we're focused on creating value. Consumers also want their financial institution to be on their side. It's what our credit union is becoming known for and we couldn't be happier."

As a financial services co-operative, First West embraces the member-first philosophy by investing profits back into product development and offering market-leading products such as the Simply Free Account™ and Unlimited Chequing for Business. By meeting and anticipating member needs First West has been consistently first-to-market with new products such as Mobile Pay for Android, personal financial management tools in online banking and free e-transfers offered through the Simply Free Account™.

As proof of the success of this approach, Skinner points to Island Savings, now a division of First West Credit Union but which was previously an independent credit union until it merged in 2015.

"The year before joining First West, Island Savings had net membership growth in the single digits," says Skinner." After joining First West, we were able to quickly roll out new and value-rich products to Islanders. In its first year, Island Savings welcomed 2,300 net new members. Same name, same people -- just simpler, better, more innovative products and services."

The cumulative effect of Skinner's leadership and First West's focus on simplifying lives has seen the credit union experience net growth of about 40,000 members.

About First West Credit Union

Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia's third-largest credit union with nearly $11 billion in assets under administration, close to 250,000 members and more than 1,700 employees. It operates 54 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Enderby & District Financial and Island Savings divisions. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information.

Follow us on Twitter: @firstwestcu

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