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Media Release December 13, 2005

Young British Columbians hoping for a "green" Christmas, poll finds

Vancouver, BC, December 13, 2005 - Knocking yourself out trying to find a perfect gift for the young people on your list this holiday season? Don’t bother. A poll shows that they would prefer a gift card or cash instead.

According to an Ipsos Reid poll, 67 per cent of British Columbians between the ages of 18 and 34 are expecting to receive at least one useless gift this season and would rather get a gift card or cash so they can pick out what they really want.

This is no surprise to Richard Robins at Vancity Visa. Vancity and its national virtual bank, Citizens Bank of Canada, recently launched the first prepaid VISA® gift cards in Canada, and so far they’ve been going faster than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

"Sales have been amazing. We’ve sold cards all over Canada and beyond," Robins says. "We knew these would be a hot item because they’re new and they are the only VISA gift cards available in Canada that aren’t tied to a specific retailer. We’re noticing that they are a particularly popular gift for young people, who can be tough to buy for."

Robins says they have sold thousands of cards more than expected, noting that sales have been boosted by large orders placed by businesses, which are snatching the cards up as a way to reward and incent employees and customers.

"Honestly, the phones have been ringing off the hook," Robins says. “We have had to keep replenishing the Vancity mytreat VISA gift card stocks in our branches. People just seem to love the idea that it’s super convenient and that there is no risk involved. People are leaving our branches with stacks of these things."

The prepaid VISA gift cards are available through Vancity branches or nationally through Citizens Bank of Canada by calling the Visa centre at 604-877-4999 and 1-800-611-VISA (8472). Visit or for details.

Vancity is the largest credit union in Canada -- and the third largest in North America -- with assets of more than $10.5 billion, 315,000 members, and 47 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country 24-7 by telephone and Internet. Vancity and its subsidiaries are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in its communities.

Media contact:
Sara Holland
Vancity Public Affairs

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