Seven credit unions in the Kootenay Boundary are proposing to merge, including Kootenay Savings, Nelson and District Credit Union, Heritage Credit Union, the Creston and District Credit Union, and Grand Forks Credit Union.

In a news release issued today, they say they began talks a year ago to determine if  “our members, employees and communities would be better off if we were to combine our resources, talents and opportunities.”

They said the concept was finalized in August, and they are now working on a formal business case to be completed this fall. If approved by their respective boards, the new credit union will move ahead in 2018 subject to membership and regulatory approvals.

Kootenay Savings president and CEO Brent Tremblay says the idea is about working together in the interests of their members.

The new credit union would serve 82,000 members across 24 branches in 22 communities and have over $2.2 billion in assets.

The organizations involved are:

Grand Forks Credit Union, which has been operating for nearly 70 years. It serves more than 8,000 members from its single branch in Grand Forks, with an asset base worth more than $200 million.

Heritage Credit Union, which was established in 1948 (originally named Castlegar Savings Credit
Union). It has over $175 million and branches in Castlegar, Slocan Park, and Greenwood.

Kootenay Savings, which has 11 branches throughout the Kootenays, including Castlegar, Trail, Kaslo, Salmo, South Slocan, Nakusp, and New Denver. It has assets over $1 billion in assets, 39,000 members and more than 200 employees.

Nelson & District Credit Union, which was established in 1950 and has grown to over $211
million in assets. It serves over 9,200 members and has 48 employees at branches in Nelson, Rossland and Crawford Bay.

Creston & District Credit Union, which has been providing the residents of the Creston Valley since 1951. It has over $138 million in assets, 5,300 members, and 23 employees at its single branch in Creston.

Columbia Valley Credit Union, in Golden, which was established in 1955 and has
grown to $142 million in assets.  It has 4,400 members.

East Kootenay Community Credit Union, which was established in 1950 and has grown to over
$327 million in assets and serves over 11,480 members throughout the East Kootenay. It has branches  in Cranbrook, Elkford, Fernie, and Sparwood.