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Vancity Exceeds 2009 Earnings Target During Economic Downturn

Vancity Exceeds 2009 Earnings Target During Economic Downturn

Credit union divested non-core operations in support of capital investment

Vancouver, February 15, 2010 – During a year of continued uncertainty in financial markets in 2009, Vancity’s focus on freeing up capital for reinvestment and reducing expenses paid off with a second consecutive year of increased earnings for Canada’s largest credit union.

The sale of non-core parts of the business simplified Vancity’s structure and added $65 million to the credit union’s already healthy capital base. These funds will finance infrastructure upgrades that will improve member service, employee engagement and allow the credit union to do what it does best – build member wealth, while also strengthening the wealth of communities. The shift in the markets, extraordinary gains from the sales transactions and our reduction of expenses have led to results that surpass Vancity’s solid performance in 2008. 2009 was a highly unusual year in which one-time revenues outweighed one-time expenses and one-time losses from ABCP and commercial real estate, in a manner that, while not predictable, was manageable.

Net income in 2009 came in at $50.3 million – seven per cent higher than in 2008 and the second highest on record. Consolidated earnings from operations in 2009 reached $75.1 million, similar to the credit union’s solid performance in 2008 when earnings totaled $75.6 million.

The 2009 results provide another remarkable distribution of funds to the community through Vancity’s Shared Success program: more than $15.2 million, representing 30 per cent of Vancity’s net profits, will be shared with members and communities, through dividends, patronage payments, grants, sponsorships and other community investments. Vancity is proud to have sustained its support of the community in tough economic times, when it is most needed.

“Those hardest hit were our most economically vulnerable citizens and the community groups that serve them, so we’re proud that our community investment in 2010 will again surpass $15 million,” said President and CEO Tamara Vrooman. “Our profits stay local and are shared with the members of our co-operative, which in turn keeps the credit union strong and healthy.”

Vancity measures its results on a triple bottom line basis and will publish its first integrated annual and accountability report in April. The organization remains carbon neutral and met its goal of keeping greenhouse gas emissions to 6,000 tonnes or less, and reports the percentage of employees who commuted to and from work was at least 20 per cent higher than Vancouver residents as a whole in 2009.

“Our results allow us to support our members and communities in innovative ways,” said Patrice Pratt, Chair of the Vancity Board of Directors. “We channel our resources towards community support and social change and will continue to develop new ways to be so much more than a provider of financial services. Ultimately we are creating a new definition of wealth and well-being where members, the community, and the environment all benefit.”

About Vancity

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $14.4 billion in assets, more than 414,000 members, and 59 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. Vancity is guided by a commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.

For more information, please contact:
Vancity Media Relations
Stephanie Thatcher