Credit Union FAQs

How do I become a member? Expand/Collapse

At a credit union, you're not just a customer; you're a member. That means sharing a common bond with your fellow credit union members. In a community credit union, like Kootenay Savings, you are all part of the same community, and the emphasis is on sharing.

You're also a shareholder. Every member owns at least one share in the credit union and has an equal say in the overall direction of the credit union.
Want to become a member?   Click here for more information. 

What makes a credit union different from a bank? Expand/Collapse

The big difference between a credit union and a bank is membership.

The fundamental principle of credit unions is democratic ownership - one member, one vote -- regardless of the amount of shareholding or deposits. You have a voice in your credit union and equal access to all the services it offers.

What are Membership Shares? Expand/Collapse

The purchase of Membership Shares is required of all Members of Kootenay Savings. With a minimum investment of $25 ($5 for Junior Members), you join in the ownership of the Credit Union and enjoy access to all the services provided by Kootenay Savings.

Kootenay Savings pools the funds and makes them available to Members in the form of loans and mortgages. A portion of the interest and fees paid to Kootenay Savings covers the cost of operating the Credit Union. The remainder is returned to the Member-Owners in the form of interest on deposits, Patronage Dividends and transfers to Retained Earnings.

It's a good way to keep the resources of our community working for our community.

What is Profit Sharing? Expand/Collapse

We share our profits with our members. The more business you do with us, borrowing or saving, the bigger your share. What can you do with it? You can withdraw up to 20% of the balance in your profit sharing account to spend on whatever you want. As for the rest, the best thing to do is invest it in a RRSP. You'll get tax-deferred growth on your investment and a tax credit at the same time.

How safe is my money at the credit union? Expand/Collapse

More than one million British Columbians enjoy the solid security and peace of mind that comes from saving at their credit union. The Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a statutory corporation, protects all British Columbia credit union depositors. Security, dependability, and trust—that’s the unbeatable combination you will find at Kootenay Savings Credit Union.

For more information on CUDIC and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the CUDIC website.

Are credit unions regulated? Expand/Collapse

Yes.  Kootenay Savings is an authorized Credit Union is regulated by the Financial Institutions Commission.  FICOM is responsible for the regulation of credit unions under the Financial Institutions Act and the Credit Union Incorporation Act.

Does Kootenay Savings support its communities? Expand/Collapse

Supporting the communities where we live and work has always been an important part of the Kootenay Savings philosophy. As a regional organization, we are committed to assisting the many worthwhile groups and activities in our communities.

To learn more about Kootenay Savings' community involvement, please click here.

What is the purpose of the Board of Directors? Expand/Collapse

Each credit union operates independently. Kootenay Savings policies and procedures are set and monitored by a Board of elected Directors. The day-to-day operations are the responsibility of the regional and/or branch manager. The democratic structure of credit unions is what makes them unique. Each credit union member has one vote and an equal voice in the management and direction of the credit union.

What is the history of Kootenay Savings? Expand/Collapse

Kootenay Savings was formed on January 1 1969 by the amalgamation of three thriving credit unions in Trail, Fruitvale and Castlegar, offering a greater spectrum of financial services to the three communities.

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