Updates from our CEO

APRIL 20
A message from Linda Bowyer, President and CEO
These past few weeks have been difficult. Many of our members, friends and family have lost their jobs. Many of our local businesses have been forced to close their doors. Many of us have been dealing with feelings of uncertainty, fear and loss. Despite these challenges, times of crisis can bring out the best in us. We have witnessed countless acts of courage, kindness and compassion and I am convinced that by continuing to focus on supporting each other, we will get through this.
 
You are deeply appreciated

We are grateful for your ongoing support. We sincerely appreciate your patience as we’ve figured out how to best serve you under these new circumstances. We are thankful for your kind words to our employees, and for helping us to keep people safe by banking remotely whenever possible.
 
We are here for you

We’re working hard to support you too. We’re waiving fees to make it easier for you to bank online. We’ve increased our contact centre support to help you over the phone. We’re offering payment deferral programs to help you manage your finances, and we’re working with you on an individualized basis to develop plans specific to your personal situations. We are keeping our website updated with regular communications so that you can find the most current information whenever you need it. Recently we welcomed an announcement from our credit card partner (Collabria) of a reduced interest rate of 10.9% for cardholders impacted by COVID-19. Visit the Collabria website for more information.
 
You make a difference

Over the past few weeks we have been working closely with community partners to determine the greatest needs in our communities. As a result of these consultations we have donated $25,000 on behalf of our members to local services and programs including Foodbanks, Farmers’ Market Nutritional Coupon Programs, Food Box Programs and a Resiliency Fund. Your gifts will provide aid to our most vulnerable populations as this crisis continues.
 
You can help

You can help keep yourself and our employees healthy (and our branches open) by banking online or by phone whenever possible. For members who qualify for emergency government support you can now set your account up to receive direct deposits from the CRA. This will enable you to get your emergency government support as quickly as possible.
 
Life looks a lot different today than it did just a month ago. In these challenging times we will continue to support and empower you every way we can.  Thank you for being part of our First Credit Union community.
 
 Linda Bowyer Signature
Linda Bowyer, President and CEO

 
Resources:
Keeping You Cyber Safe: Learn about the different types of cyber threats and how to stay safe while browsing online

Practical Money Skills: Practical Money Skills is a free financial literacy program to help Canadians understand the fundamentals of money management. Created by Visa, the program offers money management resources including calculators, games, and lesson plans tailored for use by Canadian families and educators.

Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: Business continuity plan & templates for entrepreneurs


APRIL 1
A message from Linda Bowyer, President and CEO
Over the past few weeks we have all experienced a massive disruption in our daily lives. The way we work, shop for groceries, and even how we interact with loved ones looks much different today than it did only two weeks ago. For many of us, our financial situation has also shifted. We are here to help - providing financial relief for our personal and small business members, increased contact centre support, and community outreach – we are here to support you during these extraordinary times.

Financial relief

Credit unions have a long history of being there for people through tough economic times and this situation is no different. We encourage our members who need additional help to call your local branch so that we can discuss your options.


Contact centre support

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 we are encouraging you to do less in our physical branches and to take advantage of our mobile, online & telephone banking. To support this shift in the way we serve you we have temporarily reduced branch hours and have increased the number of people we have available to answer your calls in our contact centre. We’ve also implemented a Live Chat option on our website with operators available from 9 to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Being there for our communities

COVID 19 is a global health challenge and has placed our communities under significant strain. We have spent time connecting with community partners to determine the greatest needs and in the days to come will be making an initial set of donations to serve our most vulnerable populations. As COVID-19 spreads and our communities become harder hit, our vulnerable populations are likely to grow; we are ready to help as more needs emerge.

This is a time for collaboration and connection – a time to lift each other up. We are focused on ensuring members continue to get the support and the services they need. Please reach out if you need assistance. We are here to help.
 Linda Bowyer Signature
Linda Bowyer, President and CEO





MAR 18
A message from Linda Bowyer, President and CEO
The rapidly evolving impact of COVID-19 is shaping up to be a difficult time for everyone. First Credit Union remains committed to supporting our members and employees throughout this outbreak and I’d like to update you on the steps we are taking.  

Here to help

We understand that for personal and/or business reasons, you may need additional help to get through this extraordinary time. Please call your local branch to discuss options to discuss payment options on loans and mortgages.

In addition to flexible payment options, we will support personal, business, and not-for-profit members to access accounts remotely by waiving INTERAC e-Transfer and ATM fees effective Mar 19 until Apr 30.

Open for business – in the most responsible way

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have implemented precautionary measures including:
  • conducting all member appointments over the phone
  • reducing branch hours for Powell and Bowen Branch (closed on Saturdays until further notice)
  • limiting the number of members who can enter our branches at any one time
  • enhanced cleaning in our branches and offices
  • requiring employees to stay home if they are sick or have any symptoms
Preparing members for a temporary branch closure

Though we are committed to keeping our branches open for as long as we can, we know that a COVID-19 exposure could require us to temporarily close branches and we want to be transparent about that. The best way to prepare yourself is to be set up to bank remotely. We encourage all our members to make sure you are set up with a debit card, and online, mobile, or telephone banking services. Our ATM network is extensive; it includes literally thousands of ATMs across the country, so you don’t need to be concerned about access to cash. If you need help setting up remote banking, please contact your local branch or call  1-800-393-6733..

Keeping you up to date

We continue to closely follow developments and monitor the latest advice from our provincial and federal health agencies. We are reviewing and updating our actions and plans as needed to respond to an evolving situation. Members can find updates on our COVID-19 Updates website page.

We remain focused on ensuring members continue to get the services they need. We will provide you with regular updates on how we’re responding, and how we can help.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us:


Powell River: 604-485-6206.
Texada:604-486-7851.
Bowen Island:604-947-2022.
Cumberland: 250-336-2272.
 Linda Bowyer Signature
Linda Bowyer, President and CEO





MAR 13
A message from Linda Bowyer, President and CEO
The health and well-being of our members, employees, and communities are a top priority for us, so like everyone we are closely monitoring developments around COVID-19.

We continue to monitor the latest advice from provincial and federal health agencies, and have plans in place to ensure members continue to get the services they need. While the risk of contracting the illness remains low, we recognize that our members may have some questions about how we’re responding to this evolving situation.

Our goal is to keep all First Credit Union branches open and ready to serve our members. However there are other ways we can serve you, and we encourage members to take advantage of our digital, online and telephone banking.

If you choose to visit one of our branches, please know that we are doing everything we can to lessen the public health risk associated with COVID-19 in Canada. These include:

•    enhanced cleaning protocols
•    requiring employees to stay home if they are sick or display any symptoms
•    limiting business travel

If you are feeling unwell, or think you may have symptoms of illness, we ask you to use our digital, online or telephone banking services instead of coming into the branch.

Thank you for your patience as we take the necessary steps to provide you with the best possible service during this time. We will continue to keep you up to date with any related changes at First Credit Union that may affect you.

We encourage members to learn more using the information available through Government of Canada Public Health Services by visiting the Government of Canada Public Health Services.

Please remember that we are here to help our members. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us:

•    Powell River: 604-485-6206
•    Texada: 604-486-7851
•    Bowen Island: 604-947-2022
•    Cumberland: 250-336-2272

Linda Bowyer Signature
Linda Bowyer, President and CEO




 

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