Launi Skinner, First West’s CEO, spoke at the recent groundbreaking ceremony for their new headquarters in Langley. (Langley Advance files)

Langley-based credit union enjoying unprecedented growth

First West reached $10 billion in assets weeks after breaking ground on a new Langley headquarters.

First West Credit Union is celebrating an important milestone with its members, employees and community partners.

Last week the Langley-based credit union officially surpassing $10 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 2010, First West has experienced sustained growth in assets, members, and product and service offerings. In fact, back in late June, they broke ground on a $100 million new head office on 88th Avenue in Langley to accommodate the growth.

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“This is an exciting announcement for us because we’re showing continued growth, but for the right reasons,” explained Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union.

“To us, it’s a sign of the value members see in our local focus and commitment to exceptional service and experience. Being a strong, stable financial co-operative means when we grow, the benefit is shared equally between our members, employees and our communities.”

Skinner believes that First West’s unique local-market model is a significant factor in their continued success.

“As we redefine the co-operative banking experience for our members, it’s clear our local-brand approach continues to appeal to our members and communities.” said Skinner.

“Our deep roots in the communities we serve combined with the financial capability and strength of a larger organization are proving to be a winning combination for our members.”

As one of the larger operations in the community, First West contributes to local economies through well-paying jobs for people who make their homes in the Lower Mainland, B.C.’s southwest Interior and Island communities. In 2017, First West’s operations and associated commercial activity resulted in 2,261 jobs.

During that same time, First West also contributed $1.9 million through its community giving activities in, including the organization’s signature causes, Feed the Valley and The Full Cupboard, bringing its community investment total to $14.1 million since 2010.

Additionally, through its innovative social vision, Lead Well, First West has enabled employees to positively impact their communities by providing them with three days each year to volunteer with local non-profits.

Since 2010, First West employees have volunteered approximately 60,000 hours, a combination of working and non-working hours, with charitable organizations.

“Ten billion in assets is a tremendous milestone for First West,” Skinner said.

“This is only something we’ve been able to achieve through the ongoing loyalty and support of our members. While we’re proud of our growth, we take even greater pride in simplifying the lives of our members and seeing them thrive alongside the communities we serve.”

First West is Canada’s fifth largest credit union with 53 branches across British Columbia serving close to 250,000 members.

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