July 8, 2021
Hello, Members of VantageOne,
This member update is all about adapting to change at VantageOne. As you are aware, there have been significant shifts over the past year which has accelerated changes in the financial industry. As a result, we have identified a need to respond to these changes to remain competitive and continue to add value to our members.
Three big changes in our industry have occurred during the pandemic:
1. Member Banking Behaviour – the pandemic accelerated the use of non-branch banking channels in our society. This means we are experiencing a significant reduction in branch traffic. Over the past five years, even pre-pandemic years, we have seen a reduction in branch visits by members.
2. The Competitive Environment – the competitive environment continues to grow as we face not only the large banks, but new aggressive technology-based financial companies focused on key parts of our industry.
3. Continuation of Low-Interest Rates – the very low-interest-rate environment has had a positive impact on consumers who are borrowers; however, it has reduced the margins from traditional banking for financial institutions. Given the competitive environment, we don’t see margins returning to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon. As a result, managing expenses and investing in technology has become even more important than in the past.
WHAT IS CHANGING?
To respond to these three big changes in our industry, we need to restructure our branch delivery in the Vernon market. This means moving from three branches in the Vernon market to one branch in the Vernon market. Our goal is to consolidate back to Main Branch for consumer banking services and we will be closing our Okanagan Landing and North Vernon Branches to consumer banking.
This change will allow for a more cost-effective branch network in Vernon and leverage our Main Branch building that we have recently updated. There are no changes to our other branches.
The specifics of the changes are as follows:
1. Closure of Okanagan Landing Branch — we will permanently close our Okanagan Landing Branch as of August 20, 2021. Our North Vernon Branch is open at this time to assist you with your banking needs.
2. Close and Re-Purpose North Vernon Branch – On October 2, 2021, North Vernon branch will be closed to consumer banking; however, the drive-thru ATM and Night Deposit will remain open. We will move our Commercial Services department to this location and re-purpose North Vernon as our Commercial Centre along with our Wealth Management location.
3. Re-Open Main Branch – On October 4, 2021, we will re-open Main Branch as our centrally located 6 days a week branch for member transactional services in the Greater Vernon Market. The above changes will allow us to:
* Improve our branch cost structure.
* Provide members with a centrally located branch open 6 days a week.
* And an enhanced capacity to handle larger volumes of member traffic.
4. Commercial opens office at North Vernon – Our commercial team will relocate and open in their new location at the North Vernon Branch on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
IMPACT ON OUR PEOPLE
Our goal is to identify opportunities to reallocate impacted staff within our organization, where possible. Rest assured that we are not a large bank making these changes and then walking away. We are committed to ensuring that the impacted employees are supported through these changes and are provided the necessary support.
Our members will be impacted by the change; however, the biggest request we get from member feedback and surveys is that we need to reopen Main Branch. This change will allow us to reopen Main Branch and offer 6 days a week services centrally located in downtown Vernon. ATM and Night deposit service will continue to be available at North Vernon Branch. Finally, as we have seen, many of our members are choosing other ways to bank, more convenient and faster, we will work through this with those members who may be challenged with this new branch structure.
CHANGE IS HARD
We understand change is hard and has an impact on people. 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.
Thank you all for choosing VantageOne as your financial institution. Our commitment to members will never stop and we will work even harder to ensure we not only meet but exceed your expectations as we move past these changes and compete in the new world of financial services. Our commitment to you remains, “Service and Advice with a Human Touch”. The channels we use to connect with members may change, but we will never lose sight of the importance of personal interaction.
Thank you for your understanding as we go through these changes.
Chief Executive Officer
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to us at email@example.com