1969 is remembered as the time of Woodstock, the year the Beatles gave their last public performance and man landed on the moon. But here in the Kootenays, something else happened. Kootenay Savings was born and we’ve been making news ever since.

The landmark merger that brought together Trail, Fruitvale Progressive and Brilliant credit unions to create Kootenay Savings in 1969 was the first of its kind in British Columbia. While amalgamation wasn’t new to the credit union system, it usually occurred when smaller credit unions with limited services cast their lot with larger, more sophisticated operations.

This was the first time three successful credit unions, each with a broad range of services, highly qualified management and attractive office facilities, would join forces to form a single, stronger unit. We led the way for thriving BC credit unions to combine their resources regionally and grow to serve their members and communities better together.

Over the decades, other credit unions – Salmo, Nakusp & District, Lucerne, Kaslo, Warfield, Kimberley, and Edgewater & District – joined the Kootenay Savings family. Today with 11 branches and 221 employees, eight insurance offices, six wealth management locations, a member service centre and respected community foundation, we are the largest and most trusted financial provider in the Kootenays.

Founded with no truer words

“Success is never measured in absolute numbers, but in performance. It is our belief we will not only maintain our performance record but improve it in partnership with Trail and Brilliant credit unions. It will make the credit union service stronger and more competitive than ever before.”


Then and now

1969 2019
Branches 3 11
Total Operations 3 29
Members 12,000 37,000
Assets $14 million $1.3 billion

We’ve come a long way, baby

The Sixties were, indeed, the era of Mad Men. Thankfully attitudes towards women and gender stereotyping have changed over the past 50 years. Our advertising today aims to show a more balanced view of all genders.

Our big 5-0

We celebrated all year long with birthday bonuses and special events. The open houses at our annual general meeting and Credit Union Day were wonderful opportunities to connect with members and salute our first 50 years together.