November Update

To The Members of VantageOne,

Hello everyone in the VantageOne land, after a cold October, November is turning out to be milder than expected and the snow seems to be staying in the mountains, just as I like it This month we are experiencing the second wave of the virus spread in our province causing major challenges in our society.

On this background, here is your VantageOne update for November:

• Economic Update – Consumer spending is the largest part of our economy in Canada. As a result, keeping an eye on retail sales is very important to get a sense of the overall health of the economy. After a sharp decline earlier this year, retail sales have swayed to the upside, up 11.2% in September, unadjusted year over year (Central1 Credit Union). This increase was driven by housing-related expenditures and vehicle sales. This is not surprising given the “stay at home” nature of the pandemic making us focus on home renovations and equipment as well as vehicle replacements. I spoke to one dealership who was receiving 12 new trucks in the month of November, all of these vehicles were sold!

The weakest area of spending growth was surprisingly in clothing. It is clear online ordering is up; however, my sense is we still miss the visits to the stores where we can see, feel, touch and try on clothes prior to purchasing. It will be interesting to follow this area as we move past the pandemic. Turning to housing, we continue to see a very robust real estate market, up an unadjusted 45% in October over the same month in 2019. The sales to inventory ratio was an amazing 49% in October for the North Okanagan, telling us that if you list it, it will sell quickly.

Low-interest rates, a good unemployment rate for middle-income earners and people relocating from large centres to the Okanagan are driving activity in our region. This is expected to continue; however, we do expect a slight drop in these very elevated home sales levels.

• Pandemic Update – We are now experiencing what we were hoping to avoid, the second wave! Our cases continue to rise across the province. We are now at 498 cases per 100,000 people (Deloitte Canada) up from below 50 six months ago. This has resulted in new health orders, masks required at all indoor facilities, increased screening at worksites around the province and closures of certain businesses.

This is a very challenging time for our society, as we struggle with balancing social health with economic activity. It is hopeful that the protocols and systems we have put in place will work well as we move through this wave and the government programs to support those impacted by the pandemic, will remain to keep our economy going. The vaccine news has been very positive over the past month; however, I don’t expect that we will see its mass implementation until mid-2021 so we must be prepared to live through the next few quarters.

As a reminder of what we are doing to slow the spread of the virus we have the following:
• Limited Branch Hours – Limiting branch hours provides reduced exposure opportunities, while still keeping services available.
• Masks are mandatory in all of our locations and allow greater protection between members and with our staff as well as allowing us to queue members inside as the weather gets colder. Remember “We Wear Because We Care” and our goal is to ensure everyone stays safe during this challenging time.
• Solutions Centre Open to Serve You Remotely – Did you know you can do just about everything through the Solutions Centre right from the comfort of your home? Well you can and you have three great ways to connect with us: Phone, Chat and Video Chat, you choose the best solution for you.

• Main Branch & Admin Building Exterior Update – after a few sleepless nights with the cold weather in October showing up, we are pleased to share that the stucco on the outside of the building is complete and the building’s winter jacket is coming down. There is still work on the lower part of the building and south side of the building to be done; however, the scaffolding will soon be removed making it easier to access the building.

• ClickSWITCH Makes Transferring Easy – one of the challenges I hear from many members is the challenge to switch over all your pre-authorized debits and credits to VantageOne. We have the solution now with a product called Clickswitch. This solution is free and allows you or one of our staff to transfer your direct deposits or automatic payments to VantageOne all through one convenient tool in a matter of minutes! Learn more here.

• *NEW Online Appointment Booking with Wealth Management – Our most important goal is to deliver a WOW experience to you! In the past year, we have expanded services with our Solutions Center and Account Managers by offering live chat and live video meetings with EasyConnect. Now, we are excited to announce that our Wealth Department is able to offer you easy access to appointment booking with our advisors through an online bookings calendar. It’s convenient, easy to use and available 24/7!
Check it out here and book in to see one of our local wealth management experts!

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

• Branch Dresses Up as a Member! – One of our branches was struggling to decide on what to dress up as on Halloween. Then a regular member came in, dressed in what the member calls “his redneck” outfit. Well, that is all the team needed, they decided to dress up as “Keith” for Halloween. When Keith came into the branch, he said hey, you are all dressed up like rednecks! Then he looked closer, “hey, you are all dressed up as me!”. The fun went forward from there, Keith was touched that the staff would make such an effort, so they had to take some pictures with their “Redneck leader”. This is a great reminder that through this year’s challenges it remains all about the people – YOU, our members!
Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together! Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

October Update

To The Members of VantageOne,
Hello everyone in VantageOne land, the cold weather arrived quickly this year, from warm to cold in a weekend; however, we have the benefit of the beautiful colours in our region. This month we are still fighting the challenging virus, which may cause some challenges this winter, our federal government has announced more support and the provincial election is nearing. Here is your VantageOne update for October:

  • Economic Update – September showed a very strong employment gain in the province of BC. Given employment growth over the past few months, we are now within 3.7% of replacing the job losses experienced in the spring when lockdowns were put in place. Employment growth in BC is above our national average, good news for workers in our province.Digging into the report a bit further, there is some weakness, as part-time employment exceeds pre-pandemic levels. This makes sense as many employers remain cautious in taking on the commitment of full-time work. With good employment recovery and low-interest rates, we continue to see a very active real estate market in our province. Strong sales and price growth continue in BC and our region is no exception. Demand for ground floor and detached real estate sales to inventory ratio in the North Okanagan for single-family residential homes is at 44% for September, which is very strong.We are witnessing a seller’s market in our region, so if you are a buyer you will need to be quick! The key here is to have your financing in place, this pre-approval is essential to be able to act confidently quick to get the property you are looking for. VantageOne, of course, can be of great assistance in this area and we are here to assist you
    Learn more about our mortgage options, you can even get started on your application online
  • Pandemic Update – With the pandemic not easing the message is clear, stay the course! Our cases continue to rise in the province, we are now at 216 cases per 100,000 people (Deloitte Canada) up from below 50 just a few months ago. The increase is a result of both more testing being done and continued spread. Whatever the cause, we have been successful when we compare to other large provinces and Washington State just south of us (Washington has over 1300 cases per 100,000 people) (Washington Post). So, great work everyone, this is not easy but we must remain diligent and follow effective protocols.Our key protocols we have in place as we head into the winter flu seasons are as follows:
    1. Limited Branch Hours  – Limiting branch hours provides reduced exposure opportunities, while still keeping services available. We never shut down and hope to never have to shut down and we will remain diligent in protecting our staff and members and adjusting our protocols to continue to support overall health. Branch Hours
    2. Masks Required – To allow member line-ups in branches during the colder months we have moved to masks required in the branch. The masks allow us to queue members inside. We understand not all members are able to wear masks and we will work with our members to ensure we can accommodate the various needs. Remember “We Wear Because We Care” and our goal is to ensure everyone stays safe during this challenging time.
    3. Solutions Centre Open to Serve You Remotely – we have addressed staffing our Solutions Centre (Call Centre) to ensure we can promptly answer your connection to us. Did you know you can do just about everything through the Solutions Centre right from the comfort of your home? Well, you can! And you have three great ways to connect with us: Phone, Chat and Video Chat, you choose the best solution for you.
  • Main Building Exterior Update – Our Vernon Main Branch & Administration building looks like it has a jacket on as we head into the winter; however, it will be coming off in November as we complete the exterior work moving from a tile to a stucco finish on the building. We are pleased with the quality, pace and cost of the work done so far and thank our General Contractor, Maddocks Construction, and all the sub-trades for their excellent work.
  • Please Set up Mobile Alerts – Have you ever had your partner complete a transaction and drop your joint account level below what you need at the grocery store? I have, and it’s no longer a problem now because I have mobile alerts. What are mobile alerts? They are alerts you set up in online banking where you indicate when you want to be notified of something happening on your account. It could be a large withdrawal, it could be a certain balance level reached, you can decide. Once set up, the alert can email you or send you a text message. So now I get the alert before I reach the checkout at the grocery store and can move funds over to ensure I have enough to pay. So, set up mobile alerts, check out our how-to page here.
  • Helping Businesses – as I have posted in previous communications, small business is a key backbone to our economy and in October we have Small Business Week, celebrating these businesses in our community. We are pleased to share that we have supported the business community with over $5 Million in Federal Government CEBA loans, a critical bridge for many businesses struggling with pandemic protocols. We continue to work with the Federal Government on the updates to their programs and encourage all members to visit a small business!
  • Wealth Management Digital Presentations – in this challenging world where seminars cannot take place, we have been able to set up a Digital presentation series through our Wealth Management area, VantageOne Financial. On November 3rd we have a great session on Caring for Elders presented by one of our excellent advisors. This is an important topic for many families who are dealing with ageing parents or grandparents. Check out the link here to register

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Mature Members Use Technology Too! – Technology isn’t only for the young! One of our mature members decided that a video chat is what she wanted to do rather than just a phone call to the Solutions Centre. She wanted to see the face of our staff, pay some bills and address some investments. She got her iPad, sat in her favourite chair, went to our website and activated the chat button (blue button at the bottom right) to start the chat. Once it started she requested video chat and was connected to a real person, face to face, from right here in our community.! Everything was done quickly and securely through EasyConnect.Who says technology is only for Millennials and Gen Z’ers, everyone is getting on-board! Check out EasyConnect. right from our website home page.

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

September Update

To the Members of VantageOne,

Hello, everyone in the VantageOne family, with fall arriving in our beautiful area we haven’t seen the virus disappear, seem to have politicians who want elections and an economy that is recovering but still has challenges. Here is your VantageOne update for September:

  • Economic Update – Stay at home economy and staycation economy has seen a strong recovery in BC since the lockdowns lifted in May and June. Furniture and home renovations industries have seen massive demand increases as consumers stay at home and spend. We have seen Silver Star Mountain sell out of their Ski Passes very quickly, golf tee times being a challenge to book given all the stay at home activity that we are embracing as the pandemic continues on. All of this has resulted in consumer spending in BC recovering to pre-pandemic levels and we are seeing unadjusted retail sales up 7.8% year over year here in BC through July. This strength is positively impacting employment and coupled with low-interest rates continues to move our real estate market upward. One of the key metrics we follow for real estate is the sales to inventory ratio, this started the year at 13% and is now upward of 30% showing a very strong sellers’ market in the North Okanagan. All of this results in a cautious optimism for our region as we move forward and battle a second wave of the pandemic.
  • Pandemic Update – After priding ourselves on “bending the curve” with the pandemic, we have experienced a significant increase in virus activity in the province since we have gone through the summer months. Our cases have risen in the province, we are now at 154 cases per 100,000 people (Deloitte Canada) up from below 50 just a couple of months ago. The death rate nationally is above 6% of tracked cases so continues to be a virus that we need to be aggressive at slowing.
    • Stay the Course – we realize many members are frustrated with the virus, the limited hours at branches, the new protocols at all retailers we visit; however, we have no choice. We have to adjust socially to live effectively with the virus, locking our economies down is not the answer, the answer lies in the effective protocols we have in place. VantageOne will remain diligent in protecting our staff and members and adjusting our protocols to continue to support overall health.
    • Masks Required Coming – as the colder season arrives, we need to find ways to allow more member queuing in the branch versus outside our buildings, especially when the snow starts to fly (I know sorry had to mention it!). Our message is “We Wear Because We Care”. To address this, as of October 14th we will be moving to a mask requirement in our branch locations. Our staff are already following this protocol and having members wear masks will allow a safer environment where we can have line-ups in the branch. Our staff and screeners will go over this as we make the transition in October.
    • Stay Calm, Be Understanding and Stay Safe – the vast majority of our members understand the world we are in and are more than willing to adjust. The small minority have different ideas and we appreciate the many different perspectives in the world; however, we must follow our health authorities and act like model citizens. We will continue to do this and ask those with other perspectives to stay calm, understand and be safe for the benefit of us all – we thank you!
  • Main Building Exterior Update our Vernon main administration building is now surrounded by scaffolding! The work to remove the failing building tiles is almost complete, with the north side of the building the last area for removal. We are relieved to report that our consultant’s report on the tiles was correct, some of them were almost ready to fall off and came off way too easily. This reinforced our decision to get this work done and we look forward to getting the stucco completed in October prior to the cold weather moving in. A big thank you to all our staff and those members who visit our site during this work, it is disruptive but necessary.
  • ATM Upgrades Coming to North Vernon – Goodbye to the envelopes at our ATMs! North Vernon branch is our last branch to have Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that require an envelope for deposits. We are working to upgrade these machines so they can scan in cash and cheques for deposit to your account. This has many benefits of saving you time, complexity and frustration in getting everything into an envelope in time for the machine. We expect to see this update in the next couple of months and will post signage when the envelope is history for good!
  • Beware of Fraud and Scams – Yes, this again! I will share this again as fraud scams continue to run wild in our world related to the pandemic. Be careful when sharing financial information and ensure you really, really, really know who you are talking to! For assistance we have resources on our web site, just click the following link: https://www.vantageone.net/about/policies-and-security/fraud/

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Support Local Small Business – small business makes up 98% of all private businesses in BC and nationally they account for almost 50% of our economic production. In times like these small business needs our support and we encourage all members to seek out and find small businesses to solve their needs. We work to post profiles of some of the many small businesses that work with us, so head over to our website where you can see some of our profiles business including the Rusty Spur profiled this month.

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

August Update

To the Members of VantageOne,
Hello everyone, we are in the heat of the summer enjoying our beautiful area and continuing to live with an active pandemic. Here is your VantageOne update for August:

  • Economic Update – This month’s message is about what I call “pandemic induced demand distortion”. What is this? Simply put, the pandemic has caused a change in consumer demand and has distorted it to specific industries. That is why we are seeing high sales volumes in recreation vehicles, bikes and home renovations to name a few. Some bike manufactures are seeing four to six-month delivery lead times on new orders, unheard of before! Some of this is related to supply-chain issues; however, nothing could have prepared these industries for this level of demand.
    The demand distortion has allowed slight improvements in the economy, unemployment has ticked down slightly, retail sales have bounced back, and home sales are strong given the low-interest rate environment.This quarter is important for our economy, as government benefits are transitioned, reduced or changed. Our local market remains active, with many developments in progress and we encourage all members to support our local small businesses who, depending on the industry, have been challenged with generating revenue and finding qualified staff. Small business is the backbone of our economy, 98% of all businesses in BC are small business (less than 50 employees) and will continue to need our support. Read our latest local business spotlight here.
  • Pandemic Update – Many of us hoped that the summer would show signs of success with the Pandemic, unfortunately, this is not the case. We have witnessed cases rise in our province, we are now at 92 cases per 100,000 people (Deloitte Canada) up from below 50 just a couple of months ago. This means we need to remain diligent in our pandemic efforts and we can assure you that VantageOne’s Pandemic Response Team continues to meet, adjust, amend and respond to changes as we move forward. We have strong pandemic protocols in place and I will highlight a few that you may already know:
    • Adjusted Branch Delivery – we have adjusted our branch delivery to respond to the pandemic. This means some reduced hoursdoor screening, in-branch barriers and in-office meetings protocols. This is all done to protect you and our staff.
    • You are Safe with Us  – you can remain confident that if an in-branch meeting is required, we have the protocols in place to ensure your and our staff’s safety. These include personal protective equipment, barriers and cleaning procedures. You can be confident that we are taking safety seriously!
  • Main Building Exterior Update – as you will see driving by our main building in downtown Vernon, we are in the process of updating the exterior of the building. This is being done to replace the exterior building tiles that are at end of life and at risk of failing and falling off the building. This is a noisy and messy process and we thank all our staff and tenants who are living with the noise that this produces. We are changing the exterior covering to stucco, which will last much longer and be safer.
  • You Have to Try EasyConnect! – In a world of physical distancing coupled with everyone’s busy lives, having an easy way to connect with VantageOne is very important to all members. We have launched EasyConnect, a solution that allows you to connect quickly and easily with our Solutions Centre Staff. What is EasyConnect? It’s our chat and video chat solution for members. Rather than using a phone to contact us, you can use whatever device you choose, go to our website and click the big floating “C” in the bottom right corner of any page and you will connect directly with our local Solutions Centre staff.EasyConnect offers traditional secure chat service, where you type back and forth with one of our staff or you can have a video chat and see who you are speaking with. A friendly face is important during these challenging times, as a credit union we remain committed to keeping the “Human Touch” and we encourage you to try EasyConnect and experience “Service and Advice with a Human Touch!” learn more about EasyConnect here
  • Beware of Fraud and Scams – I will share this again as fraud scams continue to run wild in our world related to the pandemic. Be careful when sharing financial information and ensure you really, really, really know who you are talking to! For assistance, we have resources on our website here.Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:
  • Helping Service BC – during the hot summer we have found many in our community needing the help of Service BC but having to stand out in the heat to wait to get in. We are pleased to provide assistance with one of our tents to provide shade to people in our community waiting for Service BC Assistance. Check out our tent in front of the Service BC office in downtown Vernon.Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!Glenn Benischek
    President and Chief Executive Officer

July 23, 2020

Hello everyone,

As we move to monthly updates, I will keep you informed on what is happening from a financial perspective and what is going on at VantageOne. As we continue to deal with the pandemic, staying informed is the best thing we can do! Here is your update for July:

  • Economic Update – The message this month on economic activity is “velocity”. What is velocity? Simply put, it’s the rate of change with respect to a frame of reference. We have just witnessed some of the highest velocity in our economy that we have ever seen. As a result of the pandemic, there was a high velocity of economic closure impact on employment and businesses. We are now seeing a high velocity of recovery.With effective government programs in place, we are seeing retail sales rebound quickly, stock markets regain strength and confidence returning. The challenge is, we haven’t eradicated the virus, we are just working to effectively manage life with the virus. So far this seems to be working and we are seeing positive signs of recovery, job growth and real estate activity. Time will tell if we can keep up the positive velocity enough to keep the curve flat and find the solutions to deal with the virus.
  • Pandemic Reopening Plan – No, we are not back to normal, that is the question I get most from members, wanting so much to return to normal. Unfortunately, as we have seen in many places around the globe, this virus will not exit quickly. As a result, we remain careful in our branch hours, in-branch services and encourage usage of our remote banking options as possible for the safety of members and staff.We realize this is frustrating and given our ability to “flatten the curve” so far, some members ask, do we really need to be so careful? The answer is yes. I anticipate outbreaks to occur even with all our excellent efforts until we can get an effective treatment or vaccine. So, please continue to be careful, caring and kind as we continue to deal with the reality of living with a pandemic.
  • CEBA 3.0 Now Available – For many of our small businesses, we are pleased to announce the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) version 3 is now available through VantageOne. They have expanded the program to include more eligible businesses. For information on CEBA head over to https://ceba-cuec.ca to get the details or connect with our business team, who are ready to assist. learn more about the application and process here.
  • Beware of Fraud and Scams – I want to reiterate the importance of being diligent with fraudsters trying to take advantage of people during the pandemic. Be careful when sharing financial information and ensure you really, really, really know who you are talking to! For assistance we have resources on our web site, just click the following link: https://www.vantageone.net/about/policies-and-security/fraud/
  • Main Building Exterior Update – as a reminder, we will be doing an update to the exterior of our administration building in Vernon to remove the failing tiles. This work will start in late July we will maintain access to our ATM’s, Night Deposit and entrances and exits to the building while this work goes on.

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • From Director to Greeter – our famous door greeter at North Vernon is taking some vacation time, so we took this opportunity to ask one of our former directors, Akbal Mund, to step in and manage the flow at North Branch. Many of us know Akbal for his community and business leadership. Even before his first day on the job he spotted the hot weather and need for us to get a tent up as the branch is open late into the afternoon, the hottest part of the day.This was set up and now we have some chairs and shaded areas for those busy days when we have a lineup outside the doors. Thanks Akbal for being our greeter, he has tough shoes to fill!

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

July 3, 2020

To Members of VantageOne,

Hello everyone, we continue to march forward with Pandemic reopening, seeing improvements in economic activity and caution all members to be aware of fraud and scams using the pandemic to steal from others. With this in mind, here is your bi-weekly update and note that during the summer we will move to monthly updates to keep you informed:

  • Economic Update – The economic impact of the pandemic has been swift in both its impact and the government response. The Bank of Canada has a good summary of what they see looking forward for the economy, they see two phases: initial bounce back and the longer gradual growth phase. This makes sense, as consumers jump to address pent up demand; however, longer term uneven job growth, industry impacts (especially tourism related) and reduced immigration will mean a longer gradual return to growth. Interesting to note that immigration is a key part of housing growth in Canada, how fast this will return may determine the long-term path of our housing market.Locally, we are seeing real estate activity increase from a significant decline in April; however, down significantly from 2019 levels. The path forward will be determined by consumer confidence in the economy and the job market, interest rates have returned to historical lows, which is bullish for the real estate market. The next couple of months will provide some insight into where our real estate market will be going. I remain positive on our region; we live in one of the one of the best places on earth in my opinion!
  • Pandemic Reopening Plan – I reiterate that we are being very careful with our reopening plans. The virus is not gone, we are working on a “social” end to the pandemic, which is learning to live with it! What does this mean for you? You will see continued limited branch hours, number of members in branches, door screeners, plexiglass barriers and meeting protocols. We know this can be a pain; however, we need to remain diligent and ensure the safety of both staff and members. One only needs to look south of our border to see what can happen if we ignore the threat this virus brings. We thank you all for your continued support and understanding!
  • Main Building Exterior Update – as I shared last fall, we are dealing with the tiles on the exterior of our main branch building coming to their end of life. This type of failure can result in a safety issue if we don’t address it soon. As a result, we are moving forward to update the exterior of our main building in Vernon, removing the tiles and going to a more cost effective and durable stucco finish. This work will commence in July and run to October of this year. We will maintain access to our ATM’s, Night Deposit and entrances and exits to the building while this work goes on. Learn more about how to use our Night Deposits in this great video!
  • Beware of Fraud and Scams – we are seeing a resurgence in frauds and scams in the market, please be careful when sharing financial information and ensure you really, really, really know who you are talking to! For assistance we have resources on our web site, click here to learn more! 
  • Our First Virtual AGM is Coming! For the first time in our history we will be holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually. The AGM will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020. We are emailing out notices to those members with email addresses and have mailed notices out to those who we don’t have an email address for. In both cases, you will have to go to our website to register for the AGM. The format this year is presentation style, we will present all the required information and have an email address open for questions that we will reply to after the AGM. So, look for our AGM notice and make sure you register for this historic virtual event.

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Singing and Laughing at North Vernon – as we all know, this pandemic can get us down! Our wonderful greeter at North Vernon Branch, Richard, doesn’t like to be down, so he brings both music and humour right to the front door. Well one day he opened the door to let a couple of ladies out of the branch and they danced their way out of the branch, pointing at him and saying, “never lose your sense of humour young man, you made our day!”. These are tough and changing times, good healthy singing and dancing makes all our days brighter, thank you Richard and to our members who join in putting a smile on people’s faces.

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

June 19, 2020

 

Hello everyone,

We continue to see success in BC with our Pandemic Response allowing our communities to open up further. We are now in Phase 2 of our open up and expect to move to Phase 3 allowing even more of a move back to a new normal. It’s great to see our success; however, I encourage everyone to remain vigilant, the virus has not ended, we are just socially managing it effectively.

Our continued success moving forward will be to ensure we carefully manage our social re-openings, and we are seeing many businesses doing great things in this area, a very good sign. So remain vigilant and let’s make our recovery here in BC the best in the world!

Here is this week’s update of what’s going on at VantageOne:

Pandemic Reopening Plan – With the BC Economy starting to re-open, we continue to be careful in our reopening plans. The Pandemic is not gone, we have just done a very good job here in BC to manage the spread and impact. As a result, we are limiting our re-opening to extending our North Vernon branch hours out to 4pm and we will have protocols in place for in-office meetings the week of June 22nd.

Main branch will remain closed due to this building being our administration centre. Limiting access reduces the risk of a potential outbreak at this location. All other locations will remain as is for the time being and we will continue to monitor how the Pandemic evolves and any changes to our response model needed.

  • Our First Virtual AGM is Coming! For the first time in our history we will be holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually. The AGM will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, July 8 2020. We have emailed out notices to those members with email addresses and mailing notice out to those who we don’t have an email address.
  • In both cases, you will have to go to our web site to register for the AGM. The format this year is presentation style, we will present all the required information and have an email address open for questions that we will reply to after the AGM. So, look for our AGM notice and make sure you register for this historic virtual event.

Thank You for Your Survey Feedback! We held a survey to get feedback from members on how we are doing with our Pandemic Response and any other needs you have. We are pleased to report that we got a satisfaction rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars for our response! It is great to see validation for all the work we have done; we thank you all for your honest feedback.

When we asked what your needs are the overwhelming feedback was longer branch hours and in-branch appointments. We are responding to this as we have extended our North Vernon branch hours and we have protocols in place for in-branch appointments starting June 22nd. We are hitting the right notes and will check back again with you in the future to ensure we are staying on track.

How do I transfer money to someone? We get this question a lot, how do I get money to someone else quickly and easily? Lots of options to choose from depending on the circumstances:

1. Low Tech – Take Out Cash and Give to Them – The oldest way to transfer money, just give cash! You can take cash out from one of our ATMs or through a branch, then just give to someone. This is a problem though if the person is far away or if the amount is quite large.

2. Next Low Tech – Write a Cheque – The second oldest way to transfer money is the good old fashion cheque! Yes, they are still around; however, I know some of our younger members wouldn’t even know how to complete one.

3. Member to Member Transfer – are you transferring money to a fellow member of VantageOne? If the answer is yes, very easy for us to process this transfer for you, just contact our Solutions Centre and BAM it can be done!

4. Domestic Transfer – Interac E-Transfer – If you need to send money to someone in Canada, who deals with a Canadian Bank, you can use our App and send the money through Interac e-Transfer. There is a limit of $3000 for these transfers, but it is quick and easy to do.

5. Domestic Transfer Large Amount – Wire Transfer – This has to be done through our Solutions Centre, so you will need to connect with us and provide all the details on who and where you are sending the money and we can get this done for you.

6. International Transfer of Money – Wire Transfer – Sending money internationally can be a challenge, we can do this all through our Solutions Centre and send it right to a financial institution in the country you need. The timing and cost associated with these transfers can vary so you will need to chat with us about the specific area you need to send your funds.

7. Be Careful with Other Tech Options – there are many providers saying will transfer funds for you, be careful you know who the company is and that they are reputable.

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

• Doing Business on the Tailgate of a Truck – even with all the technology we are utilizing, there are times where we need to have a document signed. This occurred with one of our account managers, who couldn’t meet with the member in her office as we aren’t fully ready for this, so she adapted and the interview and signing took place on the tailgate of the members truck! Ok, not the best, but we made it work and thank you to our Account Manager for thinking of this and our member for making this all work

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and Thank You for Choosing VantageOne and Enjoy the Father’s Day Weekend!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

June 5, 2020

Hello VantageOne Nation,

I think we can call British Columbia a success! We are in the process of reopening our economy, returning kids to school and we have not seen any virus spikes, and where outbreaks have occurred, we are effectively responding. This is what success looks like, and we should all be proud of playing a part of a great initial response to the pandemic and continue to stay the course and maintain our success. I know we don’t hear this often but Great Job Everyone! Here is this week’s update to keep you in the loop of what’s going on at VantageOne:

  • Pandemic and Economic Update? – We all see the data each day, BC is doing well at around 50 cases per 100,000 people, very good for a province with our population. For comparison, Quebec is at 602, Ontario at 192 and Alberta at 160 (Deloitte Canada). The real question is what does this mean for our economy?What we are seeing locally is a tale of two cities. City one is industries that are adapting to a new normal and remaining very busy. There are restaurants in our communities who are setting weekly sales records through take-out only! City two is our tourism and hospitality sectors, hit hard by restricted international travel and the cancellation of local events. The message is clear for both cities, learn to adapt to a new normal with no medical ending in sight for the pandemic, and you can be rewarded by growing your business.
  • Extending Service to Members? With BC slowly reopening, we are working to find safe and effective ways to reopen further for you. As of June 1st, we have extended our North Vernon branch hours to 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays, providing more hours of service availability. We are working on offering in-branch meetings later in June following safe in-office practices to protect members and staff. It may mean some changes to how you show up for and participate in a meeting; however, we are working hard to make the process as easy as possible. Our Current Branch Hours
  • How would I do a digital meeting with VantageOne? – The Pandemic has accelerated our use of technology and these solutions work very well! Here are a few ways you can have virtual meetings with one of our financial professionals:
    • Low Tech — Over the Phone – Yes, very simple and has been available most of our adult lives! Many of our members like the option to talk to a trusted person and go over their financial affairs, this is a great option not requiring any significant technical expertise. Connect with our Solutions Centre
    • High Tech — Digital Video Meeting – Many of our staff have access to digital video meeting tools, such as Zoom, where we can host a meeting. Our staff will set the meeting up and send you the link and information on how to join. Some solutions require an application and/or an account to join the meeting, but once installed, they have proven to work well.
    • Best Tech — Video Chat Coming Soon! – Digital video meetings are great; however, they can require you to download an application or complete a setup process, we want to avoid this! We are working on implementing Easy Connect the VantageOne Video Chat platform where you can easily and securely connect with one of our local staff, no software to download, no user setup required. The goal is to make it as simple as clicking a link and BOOM you’re connected! This will extend our secure personalized service to you on any device you have and you can see who you are talking with. We are looking forward to our launch this summer!
  • How do I deposit a Cheque through the App? – If you would have asked me ten years ago that we would be taking pictures of cheques on our phone and depositing them into our banking account I would have said no way! But yet, here we are, it’s all available in the palm of our hand. Here’s how to do it:
    • First – you need our App, you can get the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store;
    • Second – Login to your account within the app. You will need your member number and your access code.
    • Third – Click “Deposit” in the main icon menu and say OK to allow our app to use your device’s camera.
    • Fourth – Select the account you want to deposit the cheque to, press “Select Account”.
    • Fifth – Enter the amount of the cheque in numbers only.
    • Sixth (the Magic Begins) – place the cheque on a well light table and click the “Take a Photo” of the front of the cheque, move the device until the cheque fills the window, it will automatically take the photo for you once aligned.
    • Seventh – Turn the cheque over, take a picture of the back of the cheque.
    • Eight – Press Continue.
    • Ninth – DONE!! The money is in your account.
    • Tenth – You can do another one or head back to the main menu.
  • We Want to Hear from You! – with lots of change going on, we want to hear from you! We have built a survey to collect your thoughts on what your banking needs are and how we can improve. You will also be entered into our draw for a chance to win $75: Take the survey now!

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Account Manager Helping Member Fix Their Finances – married members had a co-signor on their mortgage who was eager to get their name off the loan. Unfortunately, our members were going through a very tough time, a death in the family and lots of expenses, placed them in a dire financial situation. They didn’t know where to start to deal with this and that’s where our Account Manager stepped in. She taught our members how to pre-plan their expenses and not operate on what was just in their account, a turning point in finding a path to recovery. A plan was put together and constant communication on how they were doing. Success was achieved with debts paid down and even savings put in place.In addition, the member’s credit scores increased over 100 points, improving their financial ability. More than financial success was the personal success of our members. Success in building confidence, better communication and a better relationship. We were able to remove the co-signor from the mortgage and further enhance the financial and personal success that comes with being in charge of their finances. A great example of one of our professionals helping our members not only to improved financial strength but to provide personal strength and success!

Thank you all for your continued support and understanding during these challenging times and remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

May 22, 2020

Hello VantageOne Nation,

After almost two months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are starting to see signs of our economy reopening and some advances in medical research being done. This will; however, be a slow and careful process to ensure we can avoid a second or third wave of outbreak. Here is this week’s update to keep you in the loop:

  • BC Is Opening – Should We Be? – In my research, I have found that pandemics end in two ways – medical ending or social ending. The medical ending is what we all want to achieve and involves a medical eradication of the virus. This is proving difficult and will take some time to achieve. The social ending is our society trying to move on and find ways to live with the virus. This is where we are today, an attempt at a slow social ending of the pandemic lockdown.Should we be doing this? From my perspective, yes! Our medical health officer has led us through a strong plan where we have “flattened” the curve here in BC and it is time to move forward slowly and carefully. I applaud their leadership and monitoring our effectiveness so we can move forward while a medical ending is being worked on.
  • What is VantageOne Doing to Re-Open? We are pleased to report we never closed! We just shortened our hours of business to reduce the risk of overall virus spread. At this time, we are focused on reviewing WorkSafeBC Information to ensure we have all the proper systems and processes in place to expand branch hours in certain locations when appropriate. We will announce these changes as we finish our preparations and work with our teams to ensure you and our staff have the safest environment possible.
  • Re-Thinking How to Bank if you don’t like Digital – Many of our members are learning new ways to bank and we appreciate not all our members want to use digital. As a result, I provide a quick “cheat sheet” on how to Re-Think your banking in this new world without having to use technology:
    • How do I Deposit Cash? – Very simple, use the Night Deposit drop. Some of you may not know what a Night Deposit looks like, this is where commercial members drop their deposits. All you need to do is place your deposit items (cash and/or cheques) into a sealed envelope, place your account number, name, the dollar value of items in the envelope and account you would like the deposit to go to on the face of the envelope. The next business day, our staff will process your deposit – it’s that simple! (Note you can also use the ATM if you wish to use some technology locate an ATM here)
    • How do I Deposit a Cheque? – You can use the Night Deposit as described in the previous bullet OR you can use the ATM. All of our ATM’s, except at North Vernon Branch, scan your cheques, so you don’t need to place them in an envelope. At North Vernon Branch you would place your cheques into an envelope then place in the ATM when asked to do so. We are working at upgrading our ATM’s at North Vernon, so they scan cheques as well. (Note you can also take a picture of a cheque to deposit it to your account through our mobile app, I know more technical, sorry couldn’t resist learn more about Deposit Capture here).
    • How do I Pay a Bill? – This one’s easy, just call us on the good old-fashioned telephone. Our Solutions Centre is here to help you and can pay all those bills we don’t want to pay but have to! Our Solutions Centre can be reached via phone or even through Chat on our website. (Sorry more technical I can’t help it, Contact them here)
    • How do I Transfer Funds? – Again, easy through our Solutions Centre!
    • How do I get an Official Cheque? – Just call our Solutions Centre and they will coordinate for you to pick up at the closest branch. Kind of like pre-ordering a coffee at Starbucks!
    • How do I Order Foreign Currency? – I know, I know, I know, we can’t travel anywhere! But when we can, all you need to do is call our Solutions Centre who can arrange the funds for pickup at your closest branch.
    • Need a New ATM Card? – Sorry, once again call our Solutions Centre! It’s in their name, they are there to provide you with the solutions.
    • Need to Invest or get a Loan? – Call us and we will call you back! If you have a financial need and need to speak with one of our account managers or financial advisors, call our Solutions Centre and they can book a “telephone meeting” where they can go over with you what your needs are.
  • We Want to Hear from You! – with lots of change going on, we want to hear from you! We have built a survey to collect your thoughts on what your banking needs are and how we can improve. The survey is quick and once complete, you can enter your name and email or phone number into a draw for cash prizes of $75! Take the survey now

Once again, I want to share some good news stories that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • We Have Put over $4 Million into Our Community – after some challenges, we are pleased to be working with the Federal Government and Export Development Canada on the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) where qualifying businesses have access to an interest-free $40,000 loan. We have now funded over 100 applications and over $4 Million into small businesses in our community! This positively impacts the jobs and viability of many businesses as we work through these unprecedented times. Learn more about CEBA here.
  • We Have Done It with Digital – funding this many new loans through a government program has been a big challenge for our Commercial team. I would like to thank them for their excellent work at bringing this program alive as well as embracing digital through Electronic Signature (E-Sig) technology. Given the Pandemic, it has been a huge challenge to get documents signed. We accelerated our E-Sig project and were able to bring this program out to our members without them having to come into our office. A truly amazing response from our tech team, our commercial team and our members who easily were able to complete the E-Sig process. We are now working to get more done with E-Sig for all members, improving convenience and avoiding having to come into the office.

These remain challenging times; we will get through this and your credit union is here and able to provide support. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone and thank you for Choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

May 8, 2020

To Members of VantageOne,

As we continue to deal with these unprecedented times, we hope that these updates provide good information on what VantageOne is doing to respond and ideas on how you can adjust how you do things to make banking easier. In addition, we provide information to take advantage of all the programs now available from the different levels of government. There is a lot going on, our goal is to keep you informed and never hesitate to contact us for more information or questions you may have, we are here for you!

For this week’s update, here is what’s happening in VantageOne nation:

  • Patience is Running Thin – Hang in There! –  We get a sense from members visiting the branch that patience is running thin and we are eager to get over this challenge. There are challenges in many areas including the pressures of educating children at home while working, finding childcare, running errands, being able to visit with family and friends and just go for a hike. This is an understandable frustration; however, we need to stay resilient and build on our proven success.
    Dr. Bonnie Henry has been effectively leading our province through this Pandemic and we need to continue to follow that careful direction to ensure we don’t have a relapse. Be proud of all we have done to flatten the curve and let this continue to motivate you to get us through these trying times – stay kind and patient!
  • Federal CEBA Program is Live – We are pleased to announce the Canadian Emergency Business Account is now available through VantageOne. After a lot of work with the Federal Government, we are now able to process applications for businesses. We are contacting our business members who have expressed an interest in the program and if you believe you could benefit from the program please contact our commercial team. Learn more here
  • New Coin Ordering System for Businesses – To make it easier for our business members to order coin from any of our locations, we have launched an online coin ordering system. You can find the system on our website under business (the fourth selection down). Here you can enter your needs, location and when you want to pick up and we will have it ready for you! View the form here
  • How to Pay Bills the EASY WAY – Paying bills used to mean running around town to all the utility companies and vendors, now you can do it all from the comfort of your couch! Two EASY WAYS for you to pay bills are:
    • By Person through our Solutions Centre – yes, just like you pay in-branch, you can do so right over the phone through our Solutions Centre! Just give us a call, provide your call centre access code and we can proceed to process your bills. It’s just that simple and done by a REAL person in our Solution Centre! Connect with Our Solutions Centre
    • By Digital through Online Banking – using either a computer or a mobile device with our banking app, you can pay your bills right through the app. You can schedule payments ahead of time or pay them right then and there! All you have to do is set up the bill vendor first, then you can go into paying the bill. Need assistance? Just contact our Solutions Centre who can walk you through the process.
  • Voting and AGM Update – thank you to all who voted in the director election! We usually announce our results of voting at our Annual General Meeting (AGM); however, this year is not usual. Our board is reviewing how we announce the result and how we will handle our AGM in these unusual times. We have delayed our AGM due to rules around large gatherings and will announce how we will move forward in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience as we go through this.

Once again, I want to share some good news stories of members that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

A Story from a Long-Term Member – One of our managers was monitoring the front door at our main branch and ran into a long-time member with a great story to share:

“One of our “senior” members came into the ATM vestibule. I asked how I could help him. He said he had some cash to deposit. I asked if he had an ATM card and he said “No, I’m 86 years old and I never have used one”. So, I explained that we could use the night deposit. He was agreeable. While we were preparing an envelope for night deposit, the gentlemen started telling me his story;

“I’ve been a member of this Credit Union since 1963. When I first moved to this area, I got into the orchard industry and not one of the big banks would even talk to me. This Credit Union took a chance and even though I lost money for the first 9 years, the Credit Union stuck with me. I will never bank anywhere else. After a few years, I sold the orchard and got into an industrial wholesale parts wholesale business and made a fortune. Sold that business when I was 54 and I’ve been a “bum” ever since.” He said that with the most genuine smile and a twinkle in his eye.” Our manager just had to laugh, and thanked him for his trust in us and his patronage over the years.

These remain challenging times; we will get through this and your credit union is here and able to provide support. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

 Be safe everyone and Thank You for choosing VantageOne!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

April 24, 2o2o

To the Members of VantageOne,

Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and sane! All the changes with this pandemic have made life quite a challenge. Never would I have thought I would be looking into the window of a store to ensure they haven’t reached their customer limit. Lots of our local stores are following the protocol very well and I applaud their efforts to keep providing services to their customers while doing it safely.
Our teams are doing the same for you. An excellent effort has been put forth by our teams and I’m sure you would all join me in saying a big thank you to them. Here is an update on what is happening at VantageOne:

  • A Big Thank You to You! –  I would like to extend a big thank you to our members who have been amazing following guidelines and safety measures. I have been at the front doors along with many of our staff managing the member flow into the branches and I have truly enjoyed my conversations with our members. Thank you for your understanding and respect of our people, it is greatly appreciated.
  • Support for Small Business Coming – we have been very frustrated with the process the Federal Government has been following to implement the Canadian Emergency Business Account as it has left credit unions at a disadvantage. We have now resolved this and are working hard to have the program up and running for our business members in the next week. We have had significant interest in this program, and we are working hard to get this in place for the many businesses in need. Read our latest update about CEBA here.
  • Our Solutions Centre is Here for You – don’t like digital banking? No problem, you can just call us! Our Solutions Centre staff are available for you to do your banking “in-person” over the phone – right from your home!  Please contact our Solutions Centre Team at 250-545-9251 or Toll-free at 1.888.339.8328.
  • How Do I Deposit a Cheque? – If you can’t make it to our branches, depositing a cheque can be frustrating, we get it! There are three ways you can deposit a cheque; here is how from non-digital to fully digital as follows:
    • Non-Digital – place your cheque in an envelope, place your full name, the total amount of the deposit you are doing and account number on an envelope and place in our night deposit drop at any of the branches. The next business day, our staff will process the deposit for you! (PS this works for cash too!)
    • ATM Deposit – making a deposit at an ATM is a bit more digital. You will need your MemberCard and following the on-screen instructions to deposit. Our ATMs at the Main and North Vernon branches have envelopes for deposits, all others are envelope-less and will scan the cheque (or cash deposit) for you. Locate an ATM here.
    • Take a Picture – the full digital solution is to take a picture of your cheque through our App using Deposit Anywhere. It’s very easy, you choose the account you want to deposit to, enter the amount, then take a picture of the front and the back of the cheque. It will ask you to confirm and boom you are done! Learn more about our Mobile App & Deposit Anywhere
  • Time to Vote – this year we are holding our very first digital directors’ election, it’s fast & convenient! The election is active until 5:00 pm (PST) on Friday, April 24th, so visit our website and have your say! Learn more*New this year, just for voting, you will be entered in for a chance to win 1 of 3 $75 cash prizes!

In this time of challenge, I also want to share a good news story about our staff and a member that is an example of how we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Staff Helping a Member – one of our snowbird members was returning from out of the country and was in self-quarantine; however, they needed to get groceries. The delivery time was 7 days. Our staff member took it upon herself to get the groceries for the member for pickup on her front porch. All that the member needed to do was drive to the house, pick up the groceries from the porch and back home to continue quarantine with the food they needed.

These remain challenging times; we will get through this and your credit union is here and able to provide support. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Stay Safe Everyone,

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

April 9, 2020

To The Members of VantageOne,

It’s amazing how over a few short weeks our world can change so much! Just going to the store or renewing your auto insurance has become a challenging task. We understand that these changes impact our members and have been working hard to balance our actions to address the pandemic while continuing to offer service to our members. We thank you again for your support in all the changes we have made. To keep you in the loop of what is happening at VantageOne, here is an update:

  • Keeping Our People Safe Remains the Number One Priority – As an identified essential service for Canadians designated by the BC Government, we are continuing to use our resources to adapt and serve members in a variety of ways while focusing on our top priority of keeping our staff and members safe. We are grateful for our members’ support and willingness to try banking in different (and sometimes new to you!) ways.
    Recent protection measures put in place since my last message to you include plexiglass barriers that have been installed or are in the process of installation in all of our branches and placed floor markers in each branch to remind visitors of adhering to physical distancing practices. We also want to extend our gratitude for the other essential services and front-line healthcare workers locally, provincially and nationally that continue to serve and protect our communities through these challenging times. Thank you to all.
  • Government Support is Available – during this challenging time, we are seeing many members challenged with job loss, business closure, childcare, rent and mortgage payments and even money for food. Our governments have programs in place for assistance and we are providing links through our COVID-19 Resource Page on our web site. These programs have been changed, added to and modified so check back to get the latest links and follow the news for updates.
  • VantageOne Support is Available – if you are challenged with your ability to pay loans and mortgages please reach out to us. We have deferral programs available and can work with you or your business to find ways to get through this crisis. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 250-545-9251 or Toll-free at 1.888.339.8328 and our Solutions Centre will route you to the proper VantageOne professional.
  • Support for Businesses – the Federal government has announced many programs for businesses including an interest-free loan program processed through financial institutions. The operational roll-out of the loan program has not been as fast or easy as we would like to see. The Credit Union System is working at the highest levels of government to see this program move forward, in the meantime, we have created a list of businesses who may be interested in taking advantage of the program. Please call us to get registered on our list of interested businesses so we can reach out as soon as the program is moving forward.
  • Better Ways to Bank – through this crisis we search for opportunities, and one of those opportunities is teaching members more convenient ways to bank! Here are a few that make banking much easier:
    • Bank through our Solutions Centre – for those members who prefer to speak to a representative on the phone, we have our call centre, called the Solutions Centre. Staffed with real people, our experts can help you pay your bills and complete many banking and investing transactions for you.  Open Monday through Saturday, they are ready to serve you from the comfort of your kitchen table! Learn more about our Solutions Centre.
    • Automated Teller Machine (ATM) – when you need cash, to deposit cash or pay a bill, it can all be done through an ATM. ATM & Branch Locator.
    • Online Banking – the fastest way to pay bills, schedule bill payments, send money to others, deposit cheques (yes you can even deposit a cheque through online banking!) and of course get your balance. Our online banking system is available through a computer, tablet and phone. Need assistance? Contact our Solutions Centre who can help you get set up. Learn more about Online Banking.
  • Branches are Available – we are working hard to continue to provide services to all members, we have adjusted our branch hours and for the latest updates please visit this link.

In this time of challenge, I also want to share some good news stories of members that are examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Member Helping Member – One of our members came in for another member who has been laid off. The laid-off member could not pay their rent, so the other member came in to pay their rent for them! An amazing act of kindness from one member to another.
  • Business Member Needing to Make Payroll – The government forced the member’s business to close quickly, going from an active revenue to zero-revenue overnight. Within one day we were able to structure financing, ensure payroll could be covered, set up a loan payment deferral and provide information on government programs at the time. The member’s response: “Wow you are an amazing resource and I can’t thank you enough for making this tough time easier. Thanks for easing my anxiety!”

These remain challenging times; we will get through this and your credit union is here and able to provide support. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Happy Easter and Be Safe Everyone!

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

 


March 30, 2020

To The Members of VantageOne,
As we all have seen, the past month has brought us unprecedented change. We are greatly appreciative to our staff who have risen to the challenges and changes as we moved along and to our members who have been patient and understanding. As the pandemic continues, I provide the following important updates:

  • Keeping Our People Safe Remains the Number One Priority – the safety of our members and our staff is of utmost importance. As a result, we have taken a number of initiatives to ensure the safety of our staff in delivering services for members who may have to visit our locations. We will continue to monitor and follow recommendations to ensure the delivery of services in a safe and effective way. We appreciate member understanding when we address cleaning activities or request that you use technology to communicate.
  • We are Here for You – we get questioned on if we are closing, but you can be assured we will not be closing, we will be here for you! Our in-person services are being reduced to ensure safety; however, our telephone and online services will remain open and available. We are monitoring staffing of our Solutions Centre to ensure we have the staff in place to respond to your calls in a timely manner, so if you have any questions or concerns please contact us at 250-545-9251 or toll-free at 1.888.339.8328.
  • Here to Help you with your Loans – we are seeing unprecedented business closures and job loss in our society. As a credit union we are local and uniquely set up to be able to respond to your challenges. We are offering many options at VantageOne from loan deferrals, interest-only payments and other strategies to help our members get through this. In addition, we are working with government and government agencies on the programs and systems that are being put in place. We encourage you to reach out to one of our Consumer or Commercial Account Managers who can assist you through this time.
    Learn more about VantageOne Support Programs for members, businesses and lessees.
  • Annual General Meeting Delayed – we will be delaying our Annual General Meeting that was scheduled for early May. We are hoping to be able to hold the AGM in June; however, it will be dependent on the status of the pandemic. The next plan would be to hold the meeting in the fall and might include virtual meeting options if required.
  • Reminder that Access to Your Money is Safe – we remain committed to providing access to your money whether through a branch, ATM, telephone or online. Our systems are not impacted by the virus outbreak, they are functioning properly and will be available when you need funds.

In this time of challenge, I also want to share some good news stories of members helping members and members learning easy new ways to deal with us, examples that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER:

  • Member Helping Member — An elderly member was at our main branch in downtown Vernon not aware the branch was closed and our other two branches in Vernon were open. Another member offered to drive them to the other branch and bring them back. Amazing support member to member!
  • Member Learning a New Way to Bank — An 82-year-old member came into the branch to pay two bills, that is all she needed. We told her she could do this from home; however, she didn’t want to use a computer. This isn’t a problem; all she needs to do is call our Solutions Centre and we can do these bill payments by a person right over the phone! She was thrilled that she didn’t need to use a computer and she didn’t need to leave her place to pay her bills – which was a big relief.

These remain challenging times; we will get through this and your credit union is here and able to provide support. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Be Safe Everyone,

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer

March 19, 2020

To The Members of VantageOne,

We are in exceptional times with a virus Pandemic not experienced in our modern history. There are a lot of unknowns as we move forward; however, we are confident in the management of our government leaders and health experts that we will be able to minimize the impact and move past this virus outbreak. Given this, we need to all remain calm and work together as we experience things we have never experienced before – We are stronger together! Some information to share as we go through this is as follows:

  • Keeping Our People Safe – the safety of our members and our staff are of utmost importance. As a result, we have taken a number of initiatives to ensure the safety of our staff in delivering services for members who may have to visit our locations. We will continue to monitor and follow recommendations to ensure the delivery of services in a safe and effective way. We appreciate member understanding when we address cleaning activities or request using technology to communicate. Learn more about our precautions here.
  • Your Money is Safe – the security and soundness of the credit union is something we have always been dedicated to. At VantageOne Credit Union, depositors are 100% protected by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Learn more here: https://www.cudicbc.ca In addition, our capital base remains strong and we are well-positioned to deal with this pandemic situation.
  • Access to Your Money is Safe – we remain committed to providing access to your money whether through a branch, ATM, telephone or online. Our systems are not impacted by the virus outbreak, they are functioning properly and will be available when you need funds. Any questions please contact us at 250-545-9251 or toll-free at 1.888.339.8328.
  • Access to our Expertise is Safe – our members count on us for our expert advice and financial direction. We are implementing telephone interviews and new technologies should members wish to video chat with our experts. We remain committed to being here for you during this very challenging time.
  • Support from us is Safe – there are many government programs now available through these challenging times and we are here, ready and able to work with you on any financial challenges you are going through. Please check out our web page https://www.vantageone.net/covid-19-resources-for-members-businesses/ providing information for both consumers and businesses on what is available and we will be updating this as new programs or information become available.

These are very challenging times; your credit union is here to support all our people through this and appreciate your calm and understanding as we implement response programs and always remember – We Are Stronger Together!

Sincerely,

Glenn Benischek
President and Chief Executive Officer