Unconvinced by merger arguments

Lake Cowichan – Re: Credit union merger Is bigger better? Not in my experience. The directors of Island Savings tell us that we will all benefit by being absorbed by a larger conglomerate on the mainland.

The advantages, we are told, are numerous. We will get free chequing accounts, we will be able to compete more efficiently with the big banks and there will be no jobs lost.

On top of this we will still control Island Savings. Not so! Make no mistake, this is a merger not a partnership, despite the glib advertising. This merger means that our members lose control of our credit union.

All of our considerable assets are handed over to First West. Instead of electing a full board of directors we will only be able to vote for three. These three will themselves appoint a committee to help them in the task of keeping up-todate on our needs. So we get more bureaucracy in exchange for less input into the decision making process.

If this merger is approved then Island Savings ceases to be a legal entity. We may keep the name, but what happens to any agreements made with members and staff? It will take a team of lawyers to work out if those promises are still valid when Island Savings ceases to exist.

I am unconvinced by the arguments made by our board of directors and shall vote ‘no’!

David Ridley

Lake Cowichan