Make it Here. Keep it Here. Grow it Here.
Bank Like You Live Here.
The member-elected Boards of both East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) and Heritage Credit Union are pleased to announce that all of the special resolutions presented to members during November and December of this year, have been passed with the overwhelming support of members at both credit unions.
With multiple motions passed, the two credit unions will merge, effective January 1, 2023 – and will be operating under the legal name of “StellerVista Credit Union”.
We are proud to know that our members have been so engaged and diligent in the process, and that the majority of them have accepted our recommendation to merge. While our Boards unanimously supported this merger, and our B.C. regulators gave us consent to merge, it’s the support of the members that matters most. That’s a significant benefit of belonging to a credit union – our members actually do have a say. (When’s the last time a bank asked a customer for input?)
The merger with bring together seven rural BC communities in the Kootenay and Boundary regions, including: Greenwood, Castlegar, Slocan Park, Cranbrook, Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford.
While the legal first day of StellerVista Credit Union is January 1, 2023, the plan to ease into the coming changes and to do our best to ensure that all staff and members have a reasonable and fair period of adjustment.
Our branches will run the same as always, and there is a strong commitment to zero job losses. We, in fact, see a need to hire more people in the near future.
Thank you all again for your time and engagement in this process – we are excited for the future!
70+ Years of service
We believe the following outcomes to be true for our members:
More access and convenience in banking, including the expansion of EKC’s Member Solutions Center (call center) to cover all 7 branches.
An improved and adapted product line-up.
Improved technology, including the rollout of a new and more user friendly website and app, as well as new online banking systems.
Expansion of Patronage and Reward programs.
Increased access to commercial lending.
We believe the following outcomes to be true for our communities:
Greater access to grant and donation opportunities.
Defined avenues for members and community input – we are planning to create community advisory committees.
Growth of jobs and economic impact – wages of merged credit union would be putting considerable resources into the hand of local people.
The development of a defined community investment grant, which will aim to permanently support things like scholarships and donations.
We believe the following outcomes to be true for our employees:
Improved career paths – the larger organization shows more opportunity to advance.
Geographic flexibility – the option to work and live almost anywhere in the region.
Remote work potential for certain positions.
More regional knowledge sharing resource access in decision making.
Improved technology and banking system tools.
Natural beauty, rural determination, local attitude.
How do you build those qualities into a credit union?
Throughout 2022, a committee of members from EKC and Heritage explored the potential of a merger and what a merged entity might be called. Here is where they landed…
StellerVista Credit Union
The Steller’s Jay is a well-known, beautiful member of our natural environment across the Kootenay and Boundary region. It offers a unique, far-seeing perspective of our rural communities, and it does so with just enough attitude to reflect the unique needs of the members we serve without the limitations of decision-making in far off places.
StellerVista Credit Union is more than a name – It is our Vision for the future. It gives us the scale to explore new ways to bank locally. It allows us to share new skills and ideas, and it helps us promote long-term stability in the region. All that, and the promise to keep us current and just far enough ahead of a changing world.
Question & Answers
Please submit any new questions through the form below
StellerVista Credit Union is the new name of the merged credit union, and this will take effect on January 1, 2023.
No jobs will be lost as a result of the merger. While some managerial roles will need to change, the roles of staff are expected to remain consistent, as will the pay, benefits, and the hours worked. Over time, the merged credit union is expected to align roles, pay, benefits, and hours worked across the organization. It is the goal of both credit unions to hire and retrain staff into more modernized roles, reflective of the ever-changing environment in which the credit union operates.
The initial Board of the merged credit union will consist of 5 directors from Heritage and 6 directors from EKC. The composition of the Board will also be subject to a regional representation policy, meaning that any new candidates running for election to the Board will need to be located in the region that is eligible for nomination. It is important to both credit unions that the communities being served have a direct voice at the table.
History & Anticipated Timeline
The Boards of Directors from both Heritage and EKC engage in an initial meeting on the topic.
Heritage and EKC sign a Memorandum of Understanding to begin a due diligence process in order to evaluate a potential merger between the two credit unions.
Employee and member announcements about the project are made.
The due diligence process is completed, and both boards vote to proceed with an application for consent on the merger to the BC Financial Services Authority.
The application for consent is submitted to the BC Financial Services Authority.
Members of EKC passed the vote on rule changes to enable merger, with 90% in favour.
The BC Financial Services Authority provided consent in bringing the merger to a member vote at Heritage.
Members of EKC passed the vote on a potential name change, with 80% in favour.
Members of Heritage to vote to approve the merger with EKC.
Day 1 of merged operations – under the new name “StellerVista Credit Union”.
Questions and Feedback
If there are questions you have that need answers, or if there is feedback that you’d like us to hear, the form below will be delivered directly to the senior leaders of both credit unions.