Members of Grand Forks Credit Union have endorsed a merger with a Burnaby-based financial institution.
Although only about a quarter of eligible voters cast ballots, 80 per cent of them supported joining forces with Gulf & Fraser The amalgamation will take effect Jan. 1.
In a release, Grand Forks board chair Michael Strukoff said he was pleased with the outcome.
“This result guarantees a more robust credit union in the Boundary,” he said. “Thank you, to our membership, for trusting our board of directors and supporting our recommendation to merge.”
“With this positive vote outcome, we have an exciting future to look forward to,” CEO Becky Clements added. “Our employees did an outstanding job in communicating with members, ensuring they got the answers needed to make an informed decision.”
The merged organization will operate under the legal name Gulf and Fraser Fishermen’s Credit Union but do business as Gulf & Fraser. The Grand Forks branch will operate as “GFCU Savings, a trade name of Gulf and Fraser Fishermen’s Credit Union.”
Together, the credit unions say they will better serve their collective membership, employees, and communities, through scale and combined resources.
They say credit unions have faced increased competition, decreased financial margins and profitability, increased member expectations and regulatory demands, and the need to make significant investments in technology.
The merged credit union will have a total of $5.6 billion in assets, over 70,000 members and a network of 28 branch locations in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
It’s the fourth credit union merger with Gulf & Fraser in less than two years. Aldergrove Credit Union merged with Gulf & Fraser in 2021 while VP Credit Union and Mount Lehman Credit Union joined Gulf & Fraser in January 2022.
“With the merger, Grand Forks and Boundary members have the opportunity to access more member benefits like competitive deposit rates, Apple Pay, Google Pay and other services,” said Gulf & Fraser president and board chair Floyd Yamamoto.
“We’re excited to be able to provide these products and services to those members new to our credit union family.”
Heritage Credit Union, which has a branch in Greenwood, is also considering merging with East Kootenay Credit Union. Voting by Heritage members concludes this week.