A message from Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO

A message from Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO

March 20, 2020


Dear Members,

From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in B.C., we’ve been clearly focused on taking measures to protect the health and well-being of our employees and our members, while also ensuring that we’re here for you and meeting your needs.

As our response continues to evolve, I wanted to update you on some of the new measures we’ve announced.

Providing needed financial support

We know that you’re concerned about what lies ahead, and some of you may be thinking about how you’re going to make ends meet.

To help, we initially responded by introducing a three-month loan deferral program for our members – offering relief to those of you who were concerned about meeting your financial obligations. But in recent days, it has become clear that the effects of the pandemic will last longer than first expected, so we’ve announced an extension of that deferral program for a term of up to six months. This includes mortgages and other loans. We’re doing this to support our members facing financial uncertainty and vulnerability from the fallout of COVID-19.

Other supports we’ve announced include:

  • Providing emergency working capital
  • Buying back foreign currency at the rate it was sold, for customers impacted by travel disruption to ensure they don’t suffer financial loss
  • Waiving a number of fees, including for INTERAC e-Transfer® and ATMs in Canada until April 30.

If you want to talk to us about this – or other ways we may be able to help – please contact your branch manager or our Member Services Centre at:

Shifting the ways we serve you

In these quickly changing times, we are constantly working to serve your financial needs while also safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our employees and our communities. Throughout this time, we’ve been paying close attention to the advice from our federal and provincial health officials.

As a result, we will be making some temporary changes to the way we serve our members, with an eye towards supporting members more over the phone and internet and less in our physical branches. As part of this, we will be significantly increasing the number of people we have available to answer your calls. To do this, we will also be temporarily reducing services at some branches and reducing the operating hours at other locations.

This will begin on Monday and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need. Details regarding branch availability and hours of operation are available here.

For those who are visiting our branches, be assured that we have stepped up our cleaning efforts significantly and are remaining vigilant about physical distancing. Please also don’t be surprised if our folks ask you if you are feeling sick or have travelled outside the country. During these unprecedented times, these are important questions to make sure we’re doing our part to keep people healthy.

If you are feeling sick or have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days, we ask you not to come into our branches. That said, if you are sick or have travelled, please know that we understand this will be a very stressful time for you and your family, and so we invite you to call us. We’re here to help and be of service.

Supporting our community

What’s happening right now affects all of us, but there are some in our community more vulnerable to the impact. To better support those most affected by COVID-19 and its economic consequences we partnered with other BC community leaders to create a new Community Response Fund.

This fund will rapidly deploy essential relief to organizations that provide frontline services to people and organizations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The partnership is led by four Community Advisors: Vancity credit union, the Vancouver Foundation, United Way Lower Mainland, and the City of Vancouver. We encourage everyone to consider supporting this relief effort. You can help right now by visiting the Community Response Fund homepage.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we must all do our part to help slow down the spread of the virus. I will continue to provide you with regular updates on how we’re responding, and what we are doing to support you through these challenging times.

Keeping you up to date

We continue to closely follow developments and monitor the latest advice from our provincial and federal health agencies. We are reviewing and updating our actions and plans as needed to respond to this evolving situation and are in constant contact with our partners in the community to support new actions.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we must all do our part to help slow down the spread of the virus. I will continue to provide you with regular updates on how we’re responding, and what we are doing to support you through these challenging times.


-Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO