Monday, August 10, 2009

Has Vancity Gone Bonkers?


Last week I commented on a story that the CBC originally broke about what I view to be the extremely underhanded efforts of Vancity to have its members who have lines of credit stab themselves in the back by signing an agreement to dissolve a contract so that the credit union could then unilaterally raise their interest rates.*

And now it turns out that the co-op has decided, apparently, to screw a whole bunch more of its members.

Here's the lede from a press release-worthy bit of stenograpy from the VSun's Fiona Anderson:

"Vancity’s online Citizens Bank is exiting personal banking and focusing on its areas of strength, Visa card services and foreign exchange services for non-retail members, the credit union announced Wednesday.

Citizens will become a non-deposit-taking bank, and as a result is selling the majority of its residential mortgages, personal loans and lines of credit secured by real estate to the Toronto Dominion Bank for an undisclosed amount. Depositers, including those with registered savings plans, will have to transfer their accounts to another financial institution.

Started by Vancity in 1997, Citizens was one of the first online banks in Canada. Today, it has 30,000 members, 45 per cent of them in British Columbia and 35 per cent in Ontario...."

So, what does this really mean for the people who have been using Vancity's online banking services?

Well, we'll let our good friend G.A.B., who left us a message in the comments on our previous post, tell you the real story from a member's point of view:


Vancity has now seen fit to stop its subsidiary, Citizens Bank from providing personal banking services. It has sold off all of the secured loans and mortgages to TD and anyone who has not transferred their personal banking elsewhere will automatically be rolled over to TD.

I have been with Citizens Bank almost from the beginning. Vancity is offering to take on CB customers. If I were to switch to them, I would be stuck paying $7/month for the same services I receive now for free!

I am trying to get Coast Capital to offer up a switch for CB customers that includes transferring existing lines of credit.



As I mentioned in my original post, C. and I joined Vancity twenty years ago so that we wouldn't be subject to the whims and vagaries of the Mr. Potters of this world.

And because we wanted our money to be used to help, not screw, people.


Our mortgage will be renewed in 60 days.


If they don't stop this crap by then, well.....

We're gone.


(and we assume, Ms. Vrooman et al., that our business, which includes RRSP's, RESP's, chequing, savings, and VISA accounts, is still one of your 'areas of strength')

*Just so you know, I am in no way attempting to impugn the good folks who actually work on the frontlines at Vancity here. In fact, a little bird whispered into our ear to 'not sign' the credit line thing when we went in to see about how we should finance our roof repairs six weeks ago.....


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