The Credit Union Difference

From the outside, Kootenay Savings looks a lot like a bank.

But look a little deeper, beyond the ubiquitous ATMs, the racks of product brochures and the day-to-day business of banking, and you’ll find a whole different story.

Credit unions are financial co-operatives, each one founded on the philosophy of people before profits. Unlike banks whose shareholders may never set foot in a branch, our shareholders are the people we serve every day – our members – and we have a vested interest in serving them right.
Our member focus and local decision making make us more agile and responsive as well. Every member is a real person to us, not a faceless number. Whoever you are, you have an equal vote and voice regardless of the amount of money you have invested in the credit union – and equal access to the best products, rates and services we offer because that’s only fair.

We will never sell you a product or service you do not need. Our business model enables us to be profitable without those profits being at the expense of our employees or customers. The way we invest our profits is different from banks, too. We choose to support the communities where our members live, work and play. Profits from Canadian credit unions are returned to members and invested in their communities, not in towers on Bay Street or foreign markets.

Credit unions are independent but connected. Autonomous, locally owned financial institutions.  Yet we are connected by a set of common international co-operative principles and powerful credit union associations that make us better together.

In a nutshell, we are people taking care of people, their money and their communities. It’s a job we believe in. And that’s the credit union difference.