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Credit union
Industry Financial services
Founded 1946
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Key people
Tamara Vrooman, President/CEO
Revenue $435 million CAD (2015)
$65.1 million CAD (2015)
Total assets $19.8 billion CAD (2015)
Number of employees
2,594 (2015)

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, commonly referred to as Vancity, is a member-owned financial co-operative headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. By asset size, Vancity is the largest community credit union in Canada, with $19.8 billion in assets, 59 branches and more than 519,000 members.[1]


Vancity began operations in 1946 as an open-bond credit union in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Initially a financial co-operative consisting of 14 Vancouver residents, Vancity has grown to serve B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the Victoria region of Vancouver Island.

On September 28, 1946, 14 Vancouver residents signed a charter to establish an open-bond credit union that would be open to any resident of the city, regardless of social affiliation.[2] On October 11, 1946, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union opened to the public. By the end of 1946, total assets were $2,966.

Vancity first operated out of a former machine shop on the corner of Broadway and Quebec streets in Vancouver. By the end of 1951, membership had reached 2,000. Assets grew rapidly after the introduction of personal chequing accounts in the same year, reaching $5 million in 1962, $10 million in 1965, $100 million in 1973, and $1 billion by 1980. Current assets are $19.8 billion.[3]


Vancity has a history of innovation in the North American financial services market:

  • 1946: the first financial institution to provide mortgages for properties in Vancouver’s working class east end.[4]
  • 1959: the first financial institution in Canada to offer open mortgages.[5]
  • 1961: the first financial institution in Canada to lend to women without a male co-signer.[5]
  • 1967: the first financial institution in Canada to offer a daily interest savings account, calculating interest earnings on a daily basis.[6]
  • 1980: the first financial institution in Canada to offer an all-in-one banking statement.[7]
  • 1986: offers Canada’s first socially responsible mutual fund, the Ethical Growth Fund.[8]
  • 1988: the first financial institution in Canada to offer a Registered Education Savings Plan.[5]
  • 1991: the first credit union in Canada to acquire a trust company, Citizens Trust Company.[9]
  • 1997: the first financial institution in Canada to establish a branchless bank, Citizens Bank of Canada.[5]
  • 2002: the first financial institution in Canada to market to the gay and lesbian community through mainstream advertising.[5]


Vancity’s primary lines of business include retail and business banking (deposit-taking and lending) and mortgage lending. Through wholly owned subsidiaries, Vancity also operates foreign exchange, life insurance, Visa credit cards, real estate development, and investment advisory services.


Vancity is a member of Central 1 Credit Union and is registered with the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. In December 2010, Vancity joined the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).[10]

Awards and recognition

Vancity has won a number of important business and social innovation awards, including:

  • Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations, from Maclean’s (2014)[11]
  • Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada (1st in financial category, 2nd overall), from Corporate Knights (2014)[12]
  • BC’s Top Employers, from Canada's Top 100 Employers (2014)[13]
  • Access and Inclusion Award, from the City of Vancouver (2013)[14]
  • Marketer of the Year, from BCAMA (2013, 2005, 1993)[15]
  • Best Corporate Citizen in Canada, from Corporate Knights (2013)[16]
  • Credibility through Assurance (Winner) and Best Integrated Report (1st Runner-up), from Corporate Register Reporting Awards (2013)[17]
  • Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada (2nd), from Corporate Knights (2012)[18]
  • Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship, from The Rix Center for Corporate Citizenship & Engaged Leadership (2011)[19]
  • Most Innovative Companies, Finance Category (8th), from Fast Company (2010)[20]
  • Community Economic Development Award, from Credit Union Central of Canada (2009)[21]
  • Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman named as Canada’s most powerful woman in the corporate executives category, from the Women’s Executive Network (2008)[22]
  • First Place – North American Sustainability Reporting Award, from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (Ceres) (2007)[23]
  • Number 1 place to work in Canada, from Great Place to Work Institute Canada (2006)[24]


  1. "Vancity posts strong 2015 results and boosts membership". Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  2. [1] Archived August 9, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Vancity posts strong 2015 results and boosts membership". Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  4. "Herschel Hardin". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 ""Credit Union Firsts" commemorate a strong history of innovation | World Council of Credit Unions". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  6. Hardin, Hershel (1996). Working Dollars, p. 128. Douglas & MacIntyre, Vancouver. ISBN 1550544322
  7. Hardin, Hershel (1996). Working Dollars, p. 280. Douglas & MacIntyre, Vancouver. ISBN 1550544322
  8. Hardin, Hershel (1996). Working Dollars, p. 411. Douglas & MacIntyre, Vancouver. ISBN 1550544322
  9. Hardin, Hershel (1996). Working Dollars, p. 465. Douglas & MacIntyre, Vancouver. ISBN 1550544322
  10. "Global Alliance – For Banking on Values ~ Vancity (Canada)". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  11. "Top 50 socially responsible corporations: 2014". 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  13. Leung, Kristina (2015-04-21). "jobs at Vancouver City Savings Credit Union". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  14. "Awards of Excellence | City of Vancouver". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  15. Graphically Speaking. "Past Winners of the BC Marketer of the Year Award". BCAMA. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  16. Simon, Bernard (2014-06-20). "2013 Best 50". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  17. "CR Reporting Awards". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  18. Perkins, Tara (2014-06-20). "2012 Best 50". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  20. Kamenetz, Anya (2010-02-11). "Most Innovative Companies - Finance". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  21. "2009 Community Economic Development Award | Credit Union Central of Canada". 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  22. "WXN Award Winners | Women Executives | Executive". Financial Post. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  23. Laura Pratt is a Toronto-based freelance writer. "Sustainability Reporting". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 

External links