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Vancity welcomes Cormorant Island community branch

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, marked the official opening of the Cormorant Island community branch and the achievement of another “first” for Vancity credit union. What makes this a “first” is the credit union’s partnership with the ‘Namgis First Nation and Village of Alert Bay to bring financial services to a remote community.

The new branch offers residents of Cormorant Island an array of banking services including in-person basic banking services, cash handling for business operations and onsite support for more complex transactions such as investments, mortgages, loans and account signatories.

In February, Vancity signed a memorandum of understanding with the ‘Namgis First Nation and Village of Alert Bay—the first in Canada to bring together a financial services provider with a municipality and a First Nation government to provide access to local banking services in a remote market.

“This is a shining example of Vancity leading with our guiding principles and bringing the tools and resources we’ve developed to support individuals, organizations and the local economy through a sustainable, socially responsible business model,” says Stewart Anderson, Vancity’s community investment manager of indigenous partnerships.

Lack of local banking services has many implications for remote and underserved communities, including the inability to exchange cash, cash cheques or access loans. When individuals travel elsewhere to do their banking, local businesses suffer as consumer and business spending concentrates in larger centres.


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