What is a credit union? 5 reasons we’re a great place for your money. 


Last updated on May 2, 2023

The recent bank failures in the United States, including the Silicon Valley Bank collapse and more recently the First Republic Bank collapse, have prompted a lot of talk about the different options available for managing your money. So, what makes a credit union special? 

In Canada, credit unions offer many of the same services as banks, but according to CanadasCreditUnions.ca, credit unions actively choose to put their members’ needs and goals above everything else. And that’s certainly true of Vancity. 

Together with our members, we’ve been able to make some pretty amazing things happen for our communities and the planet for the past 75 years — all while supporting our members’ day-to-day banking needs. 

To get a little more specific, here are just a few Vancity traits that make us proud to be a financial force for change. 

1. We’re owned by our members.  

Rather than building profit from stakeholders, Vancity is owned by our members, who purchase a share in Vancity when they open an account with us.  

As a member, you get a share of our annual profits, enjoy access to flexible accounts and products, benefit from free financial planning and advice, and get to bank with a place that has your back.  

It also means you have a say in the future of our credit union, no matter how much money you have deposited in your accounts.  

2. Your money is 100% protected.  

At Vancity, your deposits are 100% insured by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (CUDIC).  

3. We invest in our communities.  

We share 30% of our annual net profits through our Shared Success program. Since 1994, that’s meant over $422.3 million shared with our members and community organizations focused on co-operative principles, social justice, financial inclusion, and environmental sustainability.  

More recently, we’ve been able to support initiatives like the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Métis Provincial Council of BC, and Clean Prosperity Foundation. And we couldn’t do any of it without our members. Together, we really are a financial force for change. 

4. We care about people and the planet.  

When you join Vancity, you join a movement — one that knows that changing where you bank can make the world a better place.  

From our 100% socially responsible investments to our enviro™ Visa* credit cards that let you amplify environmental action with every tap — just by banking with us, you put your money where your values are. 

5. Access awesome products and over 4,000 ATMS for free.  

Curious about how your credit card spending may impact your carbon footprint? Check out the Vancity Carbon Counter™, an optional tool available to all enviro Visa credit cardholders. In the market for an electric vehicle? Discover our Planet-Wise™ Transportation Loan.  

We continue to develop innovative products and tools like these to not only support your financial needs, but look after people and the planet, too. Plus, our members get free access to over 4,000 ATMs Canada-wide (which means “no surcharge”), including credit unions across Canada and some banks1.  

So, what is a credit union? In short, it’s a great place to put your money — whether you’re looking for a product that suits your needs or an investment that supports people and the planet. And as far as what makes Vancity a financial force for change, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Find out more or join the movement today.  

This blog post provides general information only, and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal or other professional advice. We encourage you to obtain personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding your particular circumstances. Please see our Terms of Use.   

enviro™, Planet-Wise™, and Carbon Counter™ are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.  

* Trademark of Visa Int., used under license.  

1Caisses populaires and credit unions in Quebec and Territories excluded.  

®DING FREE & Design are registered trademarks of Central 1 Credit Union, used under license. 

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