LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 19, 2014) - Yesterday's budget announcement by Finance Minister Michael de Jong that the B.C. government would adjust current legislation to shelter credit unions from the full impact of the negative federal income change for three years was welcomed by First West Credit Union.

The 2014 B.C. budget maintains a provincial tax rate for credit unions of 2.5% until 2016, at which time the province will phase out the small business tax exemption for credit unions over a five-year period.

"The 2014 budget shows that our provincial government is in tune with what hundreds of thousands of British Columbians believe today: local banking matters. Credit unions provide competitive choice in the financial services sector but because of their nature and principles do not have many of the tax and capital advantages afforded to the big banks," said Launi Skinner, First West Credit Union's CEO. "We urge the B.C. government to make this benefit a permanent one."

Facts and insights

  • The 2013 federal budget eliminated the extended small-business tax benefit for credit unions over five years.
  • Current provincial legislation provides a similar tax rate as the federal rate for B.C. credit unions; phasing out the federal tax benefit would result in a corresponding elimination of a provincial tax benefit.
  • B.C. credit unions employ more than 8,700 British Columbians; First West Credit Union employs nearly 1,300.
  • First West Credit Union serves more than 171,000 British Columbians in mostly small, mid-sized and rural communities throughout the province. It has one of the fastest growing memberships in all of B.C.
  • In 2013 alone, First West Credit Union gave more than $2.4 million in community investment efforts.

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 while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots 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:

First West Credit Union
Cheryl Shaw
Manager, Communications & PR