Last fall, it was announced that seven credit unions across the Kootenay, Columbia Valley and Boundary regions of British Columbia were exploring an amalgamation. Columbia Valley, Creston & District, East Kootenay Community, Grand Forks, Heritage, Kootenay Savings and Nelson & District Credit Unions have been engaged in discussion around the design and potential of a new, united credit union.
The process is being driven by the rapidly evolving pace of the financial services industry, and the opportunity to share resources and expertise across the region.
There have been more than 60 people involved in the project, which is a first for Canada. An amalgamation between this many credit unions have never been done in Canada before.
In a media release, it was announced that the business case for the amalgamation is being finalized. Once that is done, it will be reviewed for approval by the Boards of Directors of each of the credit unions. If that approval occurs, an application for amalgamation will be referred to the Financial Institutions Commission of BC.
Also during this process, each partnering credit union will begin a formal consultation process with their members so their members will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed new credit union. Finally, every member of each participating credit union will be given a vote to approve the resolution approved by their Board of Directors.
This will be a lengthy process and will likely continued through 2018.
A website www.exploringstrengthandunity.ca has been set up to provide more information.
Last fall, Kootenay Saving CEO Brent Tremblay told the Bulletin that whatever the outcome of the exploration, there would be no job loss at either the corporate or branch level.