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February 20

Van Tel/Safeway members give thumbs up to merger with Vancity

Burnaby and Vancouver, February 21, 2007 – Van Tel/Safeway members have voted in favour of a merger with Vancity. For members of both credit unions, the ‘yes vote’ will create an expanded branch network in the Lower Mainland and Victoria. No jobs will be lost as a result of the merger.

The final results of the member vote, which took place between January 12 and February 16, showed 77 per cent of members voting in support of the merger.

A notable component of the merger agreement is a commitment to identify opportunities to preserve the spirit of Van Tel/Safeway's bond status, which has made it the strongest employee-based credit union in the province.

“Van Tel/Safeway has a unique perspective on the needs of its bond group members," says Vancity CEO Dave Mowat. “This is an exciting opportunity to forge strong relationships with some of the most prominent organizations in the province, to deliver even more value to their employees."

Under the terms of the Asset Transfer Agreement, the merger takes effect on April 1, 2007, the date that Van Tel/Safeway Credit Union intends to officially transfer its assets to Vancity. Over the coming months, Vancity and Van Tel/Safeway will work together to create a comfortable transition for members and employees.

Once the transition is complete – a process that will take some months – Van Tel/Safeway branches will be transformed into Vancity branches, offering the full range of Vancity products and services to members of both organizations. Members will also have access to Vancity’s 24-hour telephone and internet banking.

“I applaud our members’ decision to lead the credit union in this new direction,” says Van Tel/Safeway Board Chair Steve Lougheed. “We’re confident that our members, employees, communities and bond groups will be well served by this merger.”

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $12.3 billion in assets, more than 354,000 members, and 50 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.

Van Tel/Safeway is BC's strongest employer-based credit union, with $300 million in assets, 17,000 members and seven branches throughout the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Van Tel/Safeway's unique bond serves the employees and families of Telus, Safeway, Scott Paper, and the Pacific Newspaper Group and their affiliated companies. In 2005, two of Van Tel/Safeway's founding credit unions – Van Tel and Scott Paper – celebrated their 65th anniversaries.