A letter from the President | Paulo Araujo
As the province of B.C. gradually eases some COVID-19 restrictions, I want to share how your credit union will continue serving you in the coming weeks and months.
Following Dr. Henry’s “slow and thoughtful approach”
I’m tremendously encouraged that our collective efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve have been working. At the same time, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has asked British Columbians to take a slow, thoughtful and patient approach that involves continued physical distancing and limited social interaction. I want you to know that this is exactly our plan at Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union. Your health and well-being – and that of our employees – remains our top priority.
Giving you full access to comprehensive financial services
From day one of B.C.’s COVID-19 restrictions, our teams have worked hard to ensure that you’ve enjoyed uninterrupted access to the complete range of financial services you look to us for. I’m incredibly proud of this, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking our dedicated employees. Since long before COVID-19, we’ve been supporting our employees with flexible benefits, unassigned paid personal days and other protections. As we’ve kept them safe and well, they’ve been able to continue serving you through these challenging times.
Because of their commitment, we’ve been able to safely provide in-person service at the majority of our branches throughout the pandemic. And, while we’ve limited our operations at some branch locations, we’ve accelerated and enhanced our remote services, enabling you to do more banking than ever before from the comfort and safety of your own home. We’ve greatly expanded our Member Advice Centre, to serve your needs seven days a week at 1-888-597-8083. We’ve enabled e-signatures for lending applications to save you visits to a branch. We’ve created a suite of easy-to-follow tutorials to make using online and mobile banking easier.
Moving forward cautiously
Our plan for the coming months is to continue operating with a slightly condensed branch network, bolstered by our expanded Member Advice Centre and the enhanced online banking tools that we’ve seen our members embrace more and more.
We’re not rushing to open the remaining closed branches because I’m confident we’ll be able to continue meeting your needs effectively through our many channels. With this approach, we can be practical about our ability to ensure appropriate staffing levels across our branch network, and we can continue doing everything in our power to keep our members, employees and communities as safe as possible.
In all of our open branches, you’ll continue to find strict adherence to provincially-recommended COVID-19 safety measures including physical distancing, plexiglass screens and clear signage. My request to you remains the same for the foreseeable future: avoid in-person branch visits unless absolutely necessary. Call us at 1-888-597-8083 – we’re here to help!
As always, if you have any additional questions or want to share your experiences with us, please respond to this email. I love hearing from you. We’re all in this together.
Paulo Araujo | President