LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 4, 2013) - Following several months of due diligence, the boards of Island Savings and First West Credit Union have unanimously approved the business case that would see Island Savings join First West.

Through First West's unique partnership model, Island Savings would retain its local brand, local leadership, local decision-making and Island-centred community focus.

"I'm really pleased that our board has given its approval to bring the proposal forward to our members," says James McKenzie, board chair of Island Savings. "We are excited about the possibilities to enhance our business and to better serve our members on the Islands. Both Island Savings and First West have a strong commitment to our communities, to stay and act local. We look forward to combining the expertise, local knowledge and experience of our teams to better serve all our members."

The business case outlining the coming together of the two credit unions must still receive consent from the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM). Following its approval, Island Savings members will be asked to vote on the transaction.

"Our boards found there was a very compelling value proposition in our two organizations coming together and we are hopeful that FICOM will as well," says Shawn Neumann, First West board chair. "Fundamentally this partnership helps the organizations to further build on their strong financial performance. This in turn ensures longer term stability for the credit union and improves our ability to provide more and improved products and services such as First West's Simply Free Account™ and Unlimited Chequing for Business®."

True to its democratic nature, members of Island Savings will vote on joining First West following FICOM's consent. "While the commission's review is a necessary undertaking, we're eager to bring this recommendation forward to our membership for their consideration and determination," says McKenzie. "Part of being a democratic financial cooperative is ensuring our membership is part of shaping a strong, prosperous future."

About Island Savings Credit Union

Island Savings is the Islands' most recommended banking experience. As a Top 50 Best Employer and Top 30 Greenest Companies in Canada, its neighbourhood experts offer financial, insurance and investment advice and products to over 100,000 Islanders. Managing a total portfolio of $2.8B under administration, Island Savings is investing $15 million from 2012 to 2015 to expand their branch network and all service delivery platforms. Since 2010, their successful Growing Island Families Together (GIFT) program has proudly given over $7.0M back to the community. For more information on Island Savings, visit

About First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution through trusted, local brand names and a fresh, inspired approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia's third-largest credit union with $7.1 billion in assets under administration, more than 171,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. It operates 40 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial brands. For more information on First West Credit Union, visit

Follow First West Credit Union on Twitter: @firstwestcu

Contact Information:

Media Contact
Melanie Tromp Hoover
Communications Specialist
Tel: 250-419-4727

Cheryl Shaw
First West Credit Union
Tel: 604-539-7360