Island Savings members vote ‘yes’ on merger

Island Savings members have voted strongly in favour of joining First West Credit Union as of Jan. 1, 2015.

It’s taken six weeks of debate but the membership has spoken, according to Island Savings CEO Rod Dewar.

“This ‘yes’ from our members is really a vote for the continued success of Island Savings and for the cooperative roots that our credit union was founded on more than 60 years ago,” he said. “There’s been a lot of information for our members to consider in a very short period of time, and so I give my deepest thanks and appreciation to the Islanders who participated in this process.”

Wrapping up Nov. 12, voting on a proposal to partner with First West saw ballots cast from 8,454 Island Savings members that hold either or both Class “A” and Class “C” shares.

The special resolution voted on by Class “A” shares was approved by a majority of 79.62 per cent and the separate but identical resolution voted on by Class “C” investor shareholders was approved by a majority of 79.96 per cent.

A two-thirds majority was needed to succeed.

“I’m tremendously proud of the dedication and passion our employees brought to this democratic process over the past few weeks,” Dewar added.

Through First West’s partnership model, Island Savings will retain its employees, branches, brand, local decision-making power and community investment program.

Effective Jan. 1, Island Savings will be known as Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, led by 19-year Island Savings employee Randy Bertsch who will become president from his current role of chief operations officer.

Dewar is leaving the credit union but three current Island Savings directors – Mark Aston, Richard Hill and James McKenzie – will be appointed to the First West Board.