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July 17

New initiative makes sending money to India easier

July 17, 2007, Vancouver, BC - Vancity members who want to get money to relatives or business associates in India quickly and inexpensively now have a convenient new option available at the Newton branch in Surrey.

Beginning today, members can wire money to any one of 20,000 bank branches in India with the funds arriving in the recipient’s bank account sometimes as quickly as within two hours. They can also pick up drafts within 24 hours to take to India or drafts can be delivered to banks in India or individual homes, even in remote villages.

The service is available to Vancity members only, with Citizens Bank members coming on board in two weeks. There is no charge for wiring money, except for the rapid two hour service, and there is no charge for issuing drafts to members who pick up the draft at the branch. This saves members the service charges usually associated with using money transfer businesses.

"The Newton branch is piloting the program, but we will be promoting this service to other Vancity branches including North Delta, Fraser and Main Street branches in Vancouver, and Abbotsford," said Jodh Dhaliwal, Director of South Asian Affairs at Vancity.

The service is a joint initiative between Vancity and Citizens Bank. The same service will be available in two weeks at the bank’s head office at 815 West Hastings in downtown Vancouver.

"This is a very important first step for us. As the world gets smaller, the demand for being able to move money around the globe quickly, easily and safely will only increase," said Randy Johal, Manager, Foreign Exchange Operations Centre, Citizens Bank.

The Newton branch is located at 7555 King George Highway in Surrey or members can call (604) 877-7000 for more information.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $12.3 billion in assets, more than 363,000 members, and 57 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish and Victoria. 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 driving positive change and to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.

For further information:

Rosetta Cannata, Corporate Communications
Citizens Bank of Canada

Jane MacCarthy, Corporate Communications