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Dec 15: Vancity first to eliminate fees for online and phone banking

Vancity Credit Union first to eliminate fees for online and phone banking

Vancouver, December 15, 2004 – Faster than naughty children being crossed off Santa’s list, Vancity Credit Union has removed the fees from its online and telephone banking services.

In a first for a full-service financial institution in Canada, Vancity has launched unlimited fee-free transactions for all retail members using DirectNET, its online banking service, and Phone Banking. This allows members to track their cheques by viewing images of them online, as well as pay bills and transfer funds between Vancity accounts without paying the 50-cent-per-transaction fee.

According to Neil Brown, Vancity’s vice-president of products and services, the goal is to grow member satisfaction by encouraging people to try a variety of banking options.

“Our research shows that consumers who use more banking channels are more satisfied with their financial institution,” Brown says. “We believe that those who try our phone and online banking will be even more satisfied with us based on the convenience of the services. The fact that it’s now free will just sweeten the deal.”

This is not the first time that Vancity has focused on cutting fees. Over the last few years, Vancity has been proactively contacting its members to discuss ways that they can reduce the fees they pay.

In addition to enhancing member satisfaction, the elimination of fees is designed to further grow Vancity’s reputation as a leader in banking firsts.

“Cutting and lowering fees may not be the industry norm, but to us it makes perfect sense right now,” Brown says. “This is about building loyalty, and sometimes you have to go against the grain to do that.”

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity was chosen as the best place to work in Canada for 2005 by Maclean’s Magazine as part of its annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers issue. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.