Island Savings set to join First West in new year

First West Credit Union is the parent company of Valley First Credit Union and Enderby and District Financial.

Island Savings members have approved by majority vote a special resolution that will see the organization join First West Credit Union, parent company of Valley First Credit Union and Enderby and District Financial.

“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,” said Rod Dewar, president of Island Savings.

“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.”

Voting on the proposal to partner with First West saw ballots cast from 8,454 Island Savings members holding either (or both) Class A and Class C shares. Class A shareholders approved the resolution by a majority of 79.62 per cent, and Class C investors gave it a 79.96 per cent approval.

Both resolutions required an affirmative vote from at least 66.66 per cent of participating members for the special resolution to succeed.

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

“On top of meeting our members’ day-to-day financial needs, each employee learned everything they could about the proposal to merge with First West so they could have informed conversations with our members.

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

Effective Jan. 1, Island Savings will be known as Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, led by 18-year Island Savings employee Randy Bertsch who will become president from his current role of chief operations officer.

Dewar will be parting ways with the credit union to pursue other opportunities.

In addition, three current Island Savings directors – Mark Aston, Richard Hill and James McKenzie – will be appointed to the First West Board as of Jan. 1.

First West has branches in Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong and Enderby through Valley First and Enderby and District Financial.