Why Become A Member?
The ultimate benefit of 1st Choice Savings membership is peace of mind. When you’re a member, you’re also an owner. That automatically makes your best interests our best interests. More than 5 million Canadians are credit union members, enjoying all the advantages of 'big banks', but as owners with more benefits.
The 1st Choice Savings Difference…
We'll admit that 1st Choice Savings and the big banks have something in common - we both offer full-service banking and a wide range of financial services. That, however, is where the similarities end and the differences begin.
Giving our profits back!
As a financial cooperative, everyone who does business with us has shares with us. When you join 1st Choice Savings you pay $1.00 which buys you one common share in the company. Since our inception in 2001, we have given out over $4.2 million in dividends to our membership. It’s just our way of saying “thanks” for being a member of 1st Choice Savings.
How dividends work
When you open an account with 1st Choice Savings – or any credit union – you are required to purchase a minimum number of shares (at 1st Choice you just have to purchase one share at $1.00).
Based on the number of shares you’ve purchased, you’ll get a portion of our profits each year.
The more shares you have, the more dividends you receive when 1st Choice Savings makes a profit.
Why do we do it?
We operate on a simple “people-focused” philosophy that puts our members and our communities - not a small group of investors – first in line when it comes to everything we do, including our profits.
It’s just another way we set ourselves apart from traditional banks, who keep their profits, well, for themselves.
Giving back to the members who put their trust in us is just another way we put people 1st.
We're member-owned, meaning members have a say in our business. As a member, you have the right to be heard which includes the right to nominate and vote for board members. Additionally, members have the right to vote in key policy decisions at the Annual General Meeting.
Membership only costs $1.00.
Membership pays off
There are lots of differences between 1st Choice Savings and traditional banks, but one of the most important of these is that when we profit, so do you. Why? Because you’re a member.
As a financial cooperative, everyone who does business with us has shares with us. These shares give you:
Membership and ownership in 1st Choice Savings
The right to nominate a qualified board member
The right to vote for board members
The right to vote for key policy decisions at 1st Choice Savings Annual General Meetings
Deposits are 100% guaranteed by the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation. This means the money you put in and the interest earned is safe and secure – up to any dollar amount.
Over the last 12 years, Canadians have ranked Credit Unions first overall in customer service excellence as reported by the IPSOS Best Banking Awards along with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. As a financial cooperative, it is in our mandate to put people before profits.
1st Choice Savings places a great deal of value on the people who work there. This translates into better service for members. Ongoing training, supportive working conditions, community involvement, and other incentives result in informed and dedicated employees.
A central directive of 1st Choice Savings is to contribute to the well-being of our communities. We are highly visible participants in regional economic development, sports, culture, education, health, and the environment. We also direct revenues into our local communities, creating jobs and opportunities. In addition, 1st Choice Savings donates generously to charitable and community-based organizations.
1st Choice Savings must answer our members, so we are obligated to make prudent and sustainable financial choices. This provides an enviable level of security for 1st Choice Savings members. There is also the added benefit of provincial legislation, which dictates that 1st Choice Savings must retain reserves to draw upon in the event of financial downturns. These reserves are drawn from revenue generated by annual growth.
Because we are driven by the mandate to serve all members equally and to the best of our ability, we have an open-door policy regarding the negotiation of loans and investments, regardless of what your account balance is. From mortgages to agricultural lines of credit, wealth management, financial advice to small business banking, 1st Choice Savings provides the same range of products and services as traditional banks.