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Apr 6: Vancity Receives National Recognition...

Vancity Receives National Recognition for Community Economic Development Initiatives

Vancouver, April 6, 2000 - Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) and the Vancity Community Foundation are to receive the 12th annual Economic Development Award from Credit Union Central of Canada for outstanding contributions to the economic development of their communities. The award will be presented to Vancity during the Canadian Conference for Credit Union Executives in Quebec City on May 9.

"Vancity is honoured to be in the company of credit unions nationwide who understand the potential they have to create positive change in the communities they serve," says Vancity Vice-President, Marketing, Jeff Schulz. "In addition, we're committed to being a financial institution that is accessible to all members of the community."

Vancity was recognized for its Accessibility Program which helps low-income and marginalized members and communities gain improved access to financial services. Vancity's Self Reliance Loans and Peer Lending Programs offer unconventional financing to those who do not qualify for traditional credit, including people on social assistance who want to begin their own businesses.

Credit Union Central of Canada also recognized the help immigrants and refugees now receive in gaining access and orientation to financial services thanks to Vancity's Refugee Assistance Program, a strategic community partnership with the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.

The Vancity Community Foundation, established by the credit union's members in 1989, provides a Community Development Lending Program of low-interest and interest-free loans and lines of credit to registered charities involved in affordable housing, employment development and nonprofit enterprises. The Foundation, in conjunction with the Credit Union Foundation of B.C., has also published a "how to" manual to help credit union's create charitable foundations.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with 39 branches in the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley area and Victoria, more than $6.4 billion in assets and 262,000 members. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada serving members across the country by telephone, ATM and on the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility.