Values-based banking proves thriving business and growth model for Vancity Credit union reaches $17.1 billion in total assets

Values-based banking proves thriving business and growth model for Vancity

Credit union reaches $17.1 billion in total assets

March 6, 2013, Vancouver, BC—Vancity’s focus on values-based banking, which puts the needs of people first and measures top-of-house returns based on member well-being, has proven a thriving way to grow the credit union’s business with a billion dollar increase in assets.

Vancity’s 2012 results show earnings of $93 million, growth in deposits by 9.5 per cent and in loans by 8.5 per cent over 2011, and growth in assets to $17.1 billion, with assets under administration totalling $19.9 billion. In 2012, Vancity attracted 15 per cent more new members than in 2011.

“Our results demonstrate that our business model of member-led innovation is working and resonating with our members, both long-time and new,” said Vancity President and CEO Tamara Vrooman, adding in 2012 the credit union spent $36.4 million towards technology improvements of which $29.3 million was expensed in our earnings results. Our investment in technology will benefit our member experience in the long run.

“Member-led innovation drives us to deeply understand the needs of people and their communities. To put it simply, we offer competitive products and services and financial advice to help members build their own wealth, and put their deposits to good use lending to, and investing in, local businesses and organizations that create positive impact.”

The growth in deposits and loans demonstrates that members have confidence in placing their savings where they can in turn become credit for entrepreneurs and enterprises that have an impact on economic, social and environmental challenges. Vancity focuses its lending portfolio in areas that are critical to healthy communities, including affordable housing, energy and environment, social enterprise, social purpose real estate, and local, natural and organic food, among them.

In addition to putting its balance sheet to work to create impact, Vancity annually distributes 30 per cent of its net earnings to members and community organizations, through dividends, patronage, grants and rebates. Through our Shared Success program, $17.2 million will be placed directly in the hands of members and community groups this year to enable them to continue to develop their own financial wealth and the health of their communities.

Unlike the traditional metrics of banking, Vancity reports its results across a comprehensive set of measures that demonstrate the impact it is creating for its members and their communities, the confidence its members have in its business model, and the integrity with which it conducts its business. These measures include member well-being, assets invested in impact, net active membership growth, and return on member equity, transparency and employee engagement— to demonstrate how it’s creating positive impact and inspiring members’ confidence through the credit union’s banking relationship with them.

“You likely won’t see another financial institution with a focus on member or customer well-being as the ‘top-of-house’ measure. This metric speaks to our vision of redefining wealth which says you can only truly prosper as an individual if you are surrounded by and connected to a vibrant, healthy community that is sustainable for the long term,” Vrooman said.

“The financial cooperative structure is undervalued and underestimated,” adds Vrooman. “It is responsive to local needs, mitigates risk, broadens input for decision-making, and can make solid returns across a number of measures—the ones that matter to bankers most and those that matter to a broader public.”

“Vancity is committed to co-operative practices, environmental leadership, and social justice and financial inclusion as we believe these are indicative of a healthy community,” says Virginia Weiler, Chair of Vancity’s Board of Directors. “Our 2012 financial results show that there is an appetite for our vision and our business model.”

Vancity was also recognized in 2012 as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Top Family-Friendly Employers by MediaCorp Canada, an honour echoed by Aon Hewitt’s Top 50 employers in Canada and had employee engagement scores in the best employer range.

Vancity by the numbers in 2012:

Net earnings from operations before distribution and tax: $93 million
Net earnings from operations: $57 million
Total operating income: $423 million
Members’ equity: $892 million
Total assets: $17.1 billion
Total assets under administration: $19.9 billion
Loans: $14.4 billion
Deposits: $14.6 billion
Membership: 492,101

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 492,000 member-owners and their communities through 57 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $17.1 billion in assets to help improve the financial wellbeing of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy, sustainable communities. Member deposits enable the credit union to loan to other members, businesses and organizations who are creating positive economic, social and environmental impact in their communities. In addition, since 1994 Vancity has given more than $238 million to members through dividends and to communities through grants and community investment initiatives. Vancity is a Living Wage employer and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks sharing a commitment to achieving triple-bottom-line impact through responsible banking practices.

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