Island Savings

Things We Believe

Our journey at First West Credit Union began with asking ourselves a simple but profound question: Why are we here? The answer to our “why?” was surprisingly simple: Each of us, each day is here to make a real difference in the financial lives of our members.


Six Big Ideals

Once we understood our “why?” we were able to determine our “how?”—how could we be a credit union that consistently made a difference in the financial lives of our members? It required us to tap into our longstanding roots and traditions—what we needed to do wasn’t “new” but more along the lines of “re-new.” We identified six principles—six big ideals—that when lived out can enable us to change the way British Columbians think about banking:

  1. Succeed together

    Each person at First West plays an integral role in achieving success. The reality is we’re interconnected. When I do my job really well, someone can do his or her job really well. And that’s good for our members. When our members succeed, we succeed. We believe in working through change together—sharing, learning, improving. Every day in every way, we help one another do what’s right.

  2. Act local

    Acting local is central to what it means to be a credit union. After all, we're all neighbours. Around here, we believe in greeting members by name and with a smile. We see things through the eyes of our members and communities. As a result, decisions are made from across the desk, not from across the country. We strive to be responsive, easy to deal with, empowered to do the right thing—right away. Our bottom line is this: Be a good neighbour—be friendly, fast to respond, ready to make things happen for our members.

  3. Value all

    Everyone matters at First West. Moms and dads and students and kids. Grandparents, local business owners. Neighbours with less than some of us have. It’s our privilege to invest in them all through accessible banking, competitive products, donations for a cause and a smile. The truth is, lifelong relationships are priceless—we treat everyone with dignity, respect and honesty.

  4. Make common-sense decisions

    Because we share a goal to improve the financial health of our members each day, our staff work to make good, common-sense decisions for our members, every day. We’re working to simplify our processes so that good sense makes sense.

  5. Create good things

    We know that it takes courage to be different. To stand out, we want to be known for how we listen, anticipate and scout out trends. We’re keen to learn, to do what hasn’t been done in ways that haven’t been tried, to innovate. Everyday, we strive to be better—always learning, trying, doing.

  6. Inspire exceptional results

    How we achieve results is as important as the result we achieve. Like creating environments where our teams thrive, learn and perform. We are fully accountable for being financially stable and profitable. For being competitive and efficient. For always keeping our eye on bottom-line results. At the end of the day we achieve exceptional results, through inspirational leadership and a belief in the power of people.