The Okanagan Landing branch of VantageOne Financial Services in Vernon was closed permanently Friday, Aug. 20, part of the organization’s corporate restructuring. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The Okanagan Landing branch of VantageOne Financial Services in Vernon was closed permanently Friday, Aug. 20, part of the organization’s corporate restructuring. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon credit union closes one branch

Okanagan Landing branch of VantageOne shut permanently; North Vernon branch to follow suit in October

Vernon’s VantageOne Financial Services is downsizing from three locations to one.

The financial institution announced on its webpage in July that in order to respond to big changes in the industry, the credit union needed to restructure its branch delivery in the Vernon market.

“Our goal is to consolidate back to the main branch (33rd Avenue) for consumer banking services and we will be closing our Okanagan Landing and North Vernon Branches to consumer banking,” said VantageOne chief executive officer Glenn Benischek. “This change will allow for a more cost-effective branch network in Vernon and leverage the main branch building that we have recently updated. There are no changes to our other branches.”

The closure of the Landing branch became permanent on Friday, Aug. 20. The North Vernon branch is open to assist with banking needs but, the branch will be closed to consumer banking on Oct. 2. The drive-thru ATM and Night Deposit will remain open.

VantageOne’s commercial services department will move to the North Vernon branch which will be repurposed as the Commercial Centre and Wealth Management location.

The main branch will reopen Oct. 4 as the centrally located branch and will be open six days a week for member transactional services.

Benischek said the changes will allow the credit union to improve its branch cost structure, provide members with a centrally located branch open six days a week and allow VantageOne to handle larger volumes of member traffic.

The moves were necessitated, said Benischek, due to “significant shifts over the past year which has accelerated changes in the financial industry,” in order to remain competitive.

As for the employees affected, Benischek said the organization will identify opportunities to reallocate impacted staff within, where possible.

”We are committed to ensuring that the impacted employees are supported through these changes and are provided the necessary support,” he said.

Benischek said VantageOne is aware the moves will not please all of its members.

”We understand change is hard and has an impact on people,” he said. “We can assure you that the changes being made have been well thought out and will provide benefits to respond to the three big changes in our industry.

“VantageOne remains strong, sound and committed to providing members the benefits of cooperative banking well into the future, these changes allow us to continue this strength forward.”

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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