The East Kootenay Community Credit Union’s newest branch in Sparwood is getting ready to open its doors. “We pushed back the official opening slightly due to some construction delays,” says Fernie EKCCU Branch Manager Eric Johnstone. “The grand opening is planned for January 2012, but we are hoping to be set up and taking loan applications by November this year,” he says.
“The new branch will have similar colours and features to the Fernie building, but the interior will take the best features from our other branches,” says Johnstone. “With this being our fourth branch, we are attempting to incorporate a similar style to our offices while continually trying to improve on their physical appeal. We want our branches to be comfortable and inviting.”
No one has been officially hired yet to work in the Sparwood Branch, but they are in the process of trying to put together the best possible team. “It will all be dependent on the skills and abilities people bring with them and how well we see them fitting with our organization. We anticipate having six staff to begin with and this is just for the credit union,” says Johnstone.
Also as part of the undertaking, the main floor of the Credit Union will house an EKCCU insurance office. “From this location we will be able to provide banking services, financial planning and property insurance. We are also building a second floor which is rentable office space. Each floor will be about 3100 sq ft. Because this is our third branch in the Elk Valley, it will now give us the critical mass we need to bring in extra services,” notes Johnstone.
The Sparwood Branch will offer residents all types of banking services that can be found at any banking institution. “Chequing and savings accounts are just the start. We have accounts with special features specifically for youth, college students, young adults and seniors. GICS, mutual funds, high interest savings accounts, online trading accounts (via QTrade) and other investments, loans, lines of credit, mortgages, business accounts, loans, lines of credit and mortgages. Additionally for businesses, auto payroll services, merchant services (POS terminals), leasing, night depository, and safe deposit boxes will also be available as well as many other services. The Credit Union will also offer Financial Planning where members will be assisted in developing their own financial plan, purchasing investments including mutual funds, life, disability and critical illness insurances,” says Johnstone.
The EKCCU boast many unique attributes and strives on keeping things local. Community donations, locally elected boards, local decision making and member shares are a just a few of the things that branch members and residents of Sparwood can look forward to with the upcoming opening of the Sparwood Branch of the East Kootenay Community Credit Union.