A message from Paulo Araujo | President
With the current concern over COVID-19 (coronavirus), I want you to know that Valley First is here for you. Below is an important message I’ve prepared together with my First West Credit Union counterparts David Lanphear and Kendall Gross – please take five minutes to read it and learn more about how we can help you.
Digital and telephone-based solutions to serve your financial needs
Take advantage of our industry-leading online and mobile banking services, available to you 24/7. You can also call our Member Advice Centre at 1-888-597-8083 and speak to one of our financial experts Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Whether it’s detailed financial advice you need or help with routine transactions, we can serve almost all of your banking needs remotely, without you needing to leave the comfort and safety of your own home. We appreciate your patience if call volumes are higher than normal during this time.
Access to one of Canada’s best ATM networks
Our ATMs remain accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Remember, you can use any ATM on the Exchange network, free of charge – this includes ATMs of most other credit unions, HSBC and others.
Your health and safety is our top priority
We continue carefully monitoring the situation, following direction from the Government of Canada and the Government of B.C., as well as the provincial and regional health authorities. To further keep you safe, we’re ensuring our employees are well-informed and well-supported. We’ve implemented employee travel restrictions, banned large gatherings and enabled work-from-home arrangements wherever possible. Our locations are held to the highest standards of cleanliness, we’ve implemented enhanced disinfection procedures. Any employee who is unwell, has travelled internationally since March 13, or has had any potential contact with COVID-19 is required to stay home and follow provincial guidelines. We’re also letting our employees know that we’ve got their backs – their employment with First West is safe, and if they’re unwell, they can take the time off work that they need.
Help us keep our employees safe
My request for you and all members is that you help us protect our employees and your fellow members too, by avoiding in-person visits to your branch. Please follow the recommendations of health authorities and avoid contact with others, especially if you are having any symptoms of illness, if you or anyone in your household has travelled internationally since March 13, or if you’ve had any contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with (or is being tested for) COVID-19. Let’s all look after each other!
If you absolutely must visit a branch in-person, note that you may see changes to hours and availability as we do our part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. Please regularly check our website and use the branch locator for the most recent updates.
Helping you navigate through challenges
For many, the COVID-19 situation may produce new financial challenges or unexpected economic hardships. Our expert financial advisors are here to help. If you have concerns about your personal financial circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out. Similarly, if you’re concerned about your investments in light of current market volatility, reach out to a Valley First financial advisor. We have the expertise to help you navigate temporary instabilities and achieve your long-term goals.
Protect yourself from fraud
Unfortunately, there are individuals who will see these times as an opportunity to take advantage of people. Remember, in your online or phone interactions, always use safe internet, email, text messaging and phone practices. Never click links that ask you to update personal information and never give out personal information on the phone. Valley First will never call you and ask you for your personal details. The only time we may need to verify your identity over the phone is when you call us. If you have any concerns, please call our Member Advice Centre.
Thinking beyond ourselves – supporting our communities
If you’ve been a member for any length of time, you know that giving back to our communities is essential to who we are at Valley First and First West. We’ll stand with our community partners – non-profit organizations and charitable causes making an impact where we live, at a time when many may begin to feel unanticipated economic pressures as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Our credit union has recently donated $10,000 to Food Banks B.C., and we’re continuing to remain in contact with our local food banks and other community partners across the province. We’ll continue working to help where it’s needed most.
Strength and stability amidst times of challenge
Finally, rest assured that we have comprehensive plans to continue providing you with the banking services you need and the expert financial advice you rely on through these times of uncertainty. First West Credit Union is strong, stable, well-capitalized and well-prepared.
Thank you for continuing to choose Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, as your financial institution, and please reach out to us with any questions you may have. Like I said, we’re here for you.
Paulo Araujo | President, Valley First