Let’s keep Island Savings local

Cobble Hill – In response to the recent article about the proposed Island Savings merger.

As a business owner and 15-year member, I urge all Island Savings Credit Union members to carefully consider their proposed merger vote with First West Credit Union.

My main concern is losing local control of our credit union. We will no longer have a main office and decisions will be made at First West’s head office in Langley. At the present time we have 100 per cent representation on the board of directors but under the new structure we will have 20 per cent the seats on the board for the first two years, after which representation will be based on total membership and assets.

As credit union members, we want our deposits available to other members of our community. Bigger is not always better.

I believe the board of directors has not proven the need for the proposed merger, even to some of its fellow board members since the vote among board members was not unanimous. The board has not presented a business case to show how the merger will be beneficial to members.

We are told members will get access to First West’s “Simply Free Account.” If that is important to members, then can’t Island Savings provide it without giving up local control?

We are also told that profitability will grow due to increased scale, efficiency and cost sharing. If there are not going to be any layoffs as a “direct” result of this partnership, then where does the efficiency come from? The case for change doesn’t explain how this is to be done.

I will not be voting in favour of this proposal and I ask that all Island Savings members come to the aid of our Credit Union and vote “no”.

Don Skerik

Cobble Hill

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