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August 1

Greater Victoria Savings talks merger with Vancity

Victoria and Vancouver, August 1, 2007 – After extensive consultation involving a number of credit unions, Greater Victoria Savings Credit Union announced today that it is pursuing a merger with Vancity; Greater Victoria Savings' members will vote on the proposal in late Fall.

Island-based members of both credit unions will benefit from an expanded branch presence in Greater Victoria. Greater Victoria Savings' members will also enjoy access to Vancity's extensive branch network across the Lower Mainland, as well as 24x7x365 telephone banking. The merger will add four new insurance offices to Vancity's existing services in Victoria.

A hallmark of the merger agreement is the creation of a $5-million legacy fund to be used to carry on Greater Victoria Savings' tradition of community support and involvement. The legacy fund will be administered by a local advisory council comprised of members of the credit union's Board of Directors.

"We're excited by Vancity's 'broad reach, local touch' approach to serving members," says Daniel von Kanel, Greater Victoria Savings' Board President. "Joining forces will enable us to continue to offer our members great products and services while celebrating our history as the oldest Victoria-based credit union."

The organizations will enter the due diligence phase in August; in the coming months, they'll be sharing information and developing plans for bringing their organizations together in a way that is as comfortable as possible for their members and employees. The merger discussions will include exploring ways to honour Greater Victoria Savings' rich history.

"Vancity has enjoyed a warm Island welcome since opening its first location in Victoria in 1997," says Vancity Board Chair, Patrice Pratt. "We can't think of a better way to grow our presence in Victoria than by partnering with a credit union so firmly rooted in this community."

Founded in 1940, Greater Victoria Savings Credit Union is the oldest Victoria-based credit union, with more than $66 million in assets, 5,100 members and four branches throughout Victoria. Greater Victoria Savings is the result of 11 mergers over its 67-year history.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $12.3 billion in assets, 363,000 members, and 57 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. 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.