Make sure you vote, Island Savings members

North Cowichan – Re: your Sept. 26 story about the Island Savings merger vote: I am fearful of the Island Savings Credit Union merger with mainland-based First West. Members should make sure they vote. I joined Island Savings Credit Union more than 30 years ago because the banks’ policies did not meet local lending needs and I wonder what the future now holds for our “local” credit union.

The business case for this merger is that “bigger is better”. It didn’t work for Island communities in the past or in the more recent U.S. financial meltdown.

Island Savings has been successfully serving its members for more than 60 years.

On Jan. 1, 2015 if this merger is approved, Island Credit union will transfer all our assets to First West, a credit union that has only been in business since 2010 and run by a CEO whose claim to fame is Starbucks and 1-800 Got Junk. What do we get in return for giving up our Island-based credit union to this new kid on the block? Free chequing accounts – becoming a member and a division of First West and lots of other time-limited promises.

The recommendation to merge was not a unanimous decision of Island Savings board members.

It was made with only input from staff and without consultation of the membership. Members should make sure they vote as this could be the last decision you will make as an Island Savings member.

Craig Meredith

North Cowichan