Personal info FAQs

Frequently asked questions: Your privacy and personal information


If you have a question concerning matters of your privacy and personal information, chances are someone’s asked us the same question before. Here’s our most frequently asked questions about your personal information and how we protect it.

If you don’t see your question here, feel free to contact us.

Why does Vancity need my personal information?
Why does Vancity need my social insurance number?
How does Vancity collect my personal information?
How does Vancity protect my personal information?
How can I keep my personal information up to date?
Do you share my personal information within Vancity?
Do you share my personal information with other organizations?
Can I choose how you use my personal information?
What happens if I opt-out of receiving marketing and communication materials from Vancity?
Can I see the personal information you have about me?
How long do you keep my information on file?
How is your staff trained to protect my privacy?

Why does Vancity need my personal information?
We collect personal information about you to help us meet your needs. The better we know you, the better able we are to provide the right products and services that benefit you the most. We also need your personal information to determine your eligibility for products and services, ensure high service standards, meet regulatory requirements, and to verify your identity and better protect you from fraud.

Why does Vancity need my social insurance number (SIN)?
You become a Vancity member by buying an equity share, which may earn dividends. For this reason, we are required for income tax purposes to request your social insurance number (SIN) and report these dividends and any interest you earn on your accounts. Your SIN is also required for all government-registered investment products. And, if we request your credit report, your SIN ensures that the information we receive refers to you and not to someone else.

You may choose to limit the use of your SIN to income tax reporting purposes. Doing so will not prevent you from accessing credit.

How does Vancity collect my personal information?
We collect personal and anonymous information from you directly, and also from the product and service arrangements you make with or through us. However, we only collect personal information with your approval. We also obtain information from credit reporting agencies, other financial institutions and from the references you authorize us to contact.

We collect information online in the following ways:

Subscriptions and registrations. In some areas on our website, we may ask for information that enables us to help serve your needs, or to follow-up with you at another time. We may ask for your name, email address and other personal information when you provide feedback in an online survey, participate in an online promotion or contest, subscribe to a newsletter or other periodic mailings, fill out an application form or change your banking information. In all cases, providing this information is completely optional.
Anonymous website tracking information. We gather anonymous information about the name of the domain from which you access the Internet, such as telus.net or shaw.ca. We do the same with the date and time you access our website and the address of the website you came from. We do not, however, collect information about individual users. This information simply tells us which areas of our website are of most interest to members, which methods of site promotion are most effective and when peak use occurs.
Cookies. We use cookies to obtain certain types of information when your web browser accesses our website. A cookie is a small file we transfer to your computer that tells us when you return to our website, which can save you time online and help vancity.com to be more efficient.

How does Vancity protect my personal information?
We have several procedures in place to prevent unauthorized access, use, or manipulation of your personal information:

• All employees sign a confidentiality agreement.
• Our computer systems have electronic security measures such as passwords, pass codes and, where necessary, encryption.
• We limit physical access to confidential areas in our buildings.
• We have contractual agreements with our business partners to ensure confidentiality.

To further protect against unauthorized access to your accounts, our online banking system is designed to automatically log you off after an extended period of inactivity. If this happens, you will be required to log in again to resume your online banking transactions.

How can I keep my personal information up to date?
You can contact us at any time to ensure that the information we have about you is accurate. If you wish to make changes to your personal information, you can call us, visit a Vancity branch, or write to us. Also, each time you sign a document at Vancity, you should verify that your personal information is correct and request changes if required.

We retain your personal information only as long as it is needed to provide you with service and to meet legal requirements. We destroy the information when it is no longer required.

Do you share my personal information within Vancity?
Yes. We may share your personal information within Vancity to manage all of your business with Vancity, to administer Vancity’s banking operations, to detect and prevent fraud and money laundering and to collect debts owed to Vancity. We may also share your personal information within Vancity to introduce products and services that could be of interest to you (unless you opt-out of receiving such information and always subject to applicable law).

Do you share my personal information with other organizations?
Yes, but in specific instances only.

• We share your personal information with credit bureaus and other financial institutions to maintain the integrity of the credit reporting system. And, we occasionally share information with legal or regulatory authorities when required to by law.
• We share limited personal information with our business partners and third parties who work on our behalf to provide products and services. These business partners may be located within or outside Canada. Whenever we request services from our business partners, we enter into a contractual agreement to ensure confidentiality and share the least amount of information needed to perform the required task. For example, companies that mail out promotional materials on our behalf are provided with your name and address only. When statistics are compiled for research purposes, all information that can identify you is removed to ensure confidentiality.

Can I choose how you use my personal information?
Yes. Even though we want to keep you informed about Vancity, you can choose to opt-out of receiving marketing and communication materials from us. To choose this option, please ask for an opt-out form at any branch or call Member Services Centre at 604.877.7000. You can also use our online Opt Out Form.

What happens if I opt-out of receiving marketing and communication materials from Vancity?
If you choose to opt-out, you will no longer receive information on special promotional offers. For example, time-limited or special rates on products and services like term deposits or mortgages, offers and discounts for events open only to Vancity members, and information about new products and services that may be relevant to you. You will still receive important notices from us such as changes to the products and services you have with us, as well as election bulletins, policy changes and regulatory updates. You will also continue to receive priority statement inserts.

Please note: Your opt-out request may require up to six weeks to take effect. This choice will not affect your eligibility for products or services.

Can I see the personal information you have about me?
Yes, you may access your personal information at any time. However, we do not share information that contains references to other persons or information that cannot be disclosed for legal, security or proprietary reasons. To update or access your information, please visit a Vancity branch or call our Member Services Centre at 604.877.7000 or toll-free at 1.888.Vancity (826.2489). It also makes good sense to check your credit report every year to check that you have not become a victim of identity theft without your knowledge.

You can access your credit history through the following credit reporting agencies:

Equifax Canada 1.877.227.8800
TransUnion Canada 1.877.525.3823

How long do you keep my information on file?
We retain your personal information only as long as it is needed to provide you with service and to meet legal requirements. We destroy the information when it is no longer required.

How is your staff trained to protect my privacy?
All staff is trained to deal with confidentiality requirements around sensitive financial information and to follow appropriate safeguarding procedures. To that end, we go to great lengths to empower every Vancity employee to act responsibly in order to protect our members’ privacy.

 
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