Yes, we’ve come a long way since Kootenay Savings began in 1969. None of our founding members could have foreseen the world we live in or the way we bank today. Internet and email didn’t exist. Nor did ATMs and debit cards for that matter. And depositing a cheque with your phone? Impossible.
Over 50 years, a lot about banking has changed for the better. Today’s technologies allow us to communicate faster, send and receive money instantly, and bank from anywhere, anytime. At Kootenay Savings, our goal is to provide members a seamless experience across all our channels - physical and digital. This digital transformation continued to be at the forefront of our business in 2019. We added an option to online banking that lets members open additional accounts themselves. We installed a self-serve kiosk at our Trail branch, a successful pilot project to be expanded to other locations in 2020. We’re also launching a new Chat function on kscu.com in Spring 2020. It’s called Virtual Advisor and it’ll give members fast answers to banking questions 24 hours a day.
In a survey conducted late last year, members gave us a 73% satisfaction rating, slightly higher than the industry average. We thank everyone who took the time to let us know not only what we are doing right, but also where there is room for improvement. Your feedback will help us take our service to the next level.
On the financial side, our assets grew to $1.3 billion over the year while dollars under management increased 3.34% to $2.5 billion. We were pleased to declare a profit sharing dividend of 2.00%, which paid over $615,000 to our member-owners. Profit sharing is our way of thanking you for your commitment, loyalty and trust.
Kootenay Insurance Services continued to contribute to the success of our organization surpassing the previous year’s results and finishing the year with positive growth. Our wealth management arm, Kootenay Savings MoneyWorks, experienced another extraordinary year. Clients who remained committed to long-term planning during 2018’s market volatility benefited in 2019 as markets had above average returns. This is an example of the value of knowledgeable, independent advice and not allowing short-term emotion to sabotage the long-term plan.
And speaking of long-term plans, management continues to work diligently on the Exploring Strength & Unity initiative. We are happy to announce the inaugural board for this proposed new regional credit union has been named and the members from Kootenay Savings are Forrest Drinnan, Roberta Schnider and Bob Parkinson. Ultimately, the decision on whether the merger goes ahead rests with you, our members, who will have the final say by way of a membership vote. Look for more details below and in the coming year.
Kootenay Savings has scored many achievements over our 50 years together. And these goals couldn’t have been reached without the support of our members. It’s you we work for every day. Thank you for your confidence in our leadership. We pledge to continue to serve you well.
(SEE ABOVE L-R) Forrest Drinnan, Mike Konkin, Mike Martin, Owen Morris, Linda MacDermid, Keith Smyth, Roberta Schnider, Bob Parkinson (Vice Chair) and Ron Anderson (Chair). Missing: Mark Martin
“Over 50 years, a lot about banking has changed for the better. Our goal is to provide members a seamless experience across all channels – physical and digital.”- BRENT TREMBLAY, PRESIDENT & CEO, KOOTENAY SAVINGS
The boards of directors and senior leaders of Columbia Valley, East Kootenay Community, Grand Forks, Heritage, Kootenay Savings and Nelson & District Credit Unions continue to explore the possibility of building one stronger, united credit union.
Having collaborated on many projects over the years, we six of the original seven partners are excited to see what we can do even better together. We see opportunities to share resources and expertise across the region to provide enhanced service to members, while improving our long-term sustainability.
Through an in-depth due diligence process, a comprehensive business case has been built. All six boards of directors have considered this business case positive and worth moving to the next stage of the process – applying for consent from the provincial regulator. This phase is a very dynamic process with changing timelines; however we are committed to keeping members updated. Lastly but critically important is reaching the milestone of a member vote. In the end, it is you, our members, who will make the final decision on whether a merger is in the best interests of our communities, our employees and members.
For more information and updates, visit www.exploringstrengthandunity.ca.