I was disappointed to read a recent letter to the editor that misrepresented Innovation Credit Union’s decision to reduce the number of its branches. I am pleased to respond and provide reassurance.
The closure of our branch in Hazlet, and a small number of other branches within Innovation’s footprint, is the result of a thorough process where we analyzed financial information, market trends, and other statistical data. We examined various scenarios to determine whether these branches could be made viable. Every scenario pointed to the same conclusion.
Members in these areas will continue to receive world-class service from Innovation thanks to our banking technology and our network of regional branches. The member meetings we held in Hazlet and other communities in June focused on this regional branch approach – an approach that reflects the changing preferences of our members and heightened competition over the last 10 years. Electronic banking transactions have increased by 77 percent. In-branch transactions have decreased by almost half. This shift in member activity has required us to take a fresh look at how we serve and support our members. A summary of my presentation to Innovation members in Hazlet and other communities can be viewed on our website at www.innovationcu.ca.
As always, we remain strongly committed to rural Saskatchewan. As someone with rural roots, I can assure all members that Innovation will continue to use its regional branches, online, mobile and telephone banking technology; and call centre to provide the very best service we can. This includes personal visits by our mobile account representatives when the situation warrants. Although we cannot have a “bricks and mortar” presence in every rural community, Innovation Credit Union has the most branch locations of any financial institution operating in southwest Saskatchewan. Our rural connections and relationships are strong and longstanding. This will not change.
Innovation Credit Union has emerged as a leader in Saskatchewan, built on co-operative principles, sustainable business practices, strong governance, transparency and accountability to all Innovation members. These are the considerations that formed our decision to realign service delivery within our region. They are the reasons Innovation Credit Union will be strong and sustainable, with a continued focus on our members, now and in the future.
Dan Johnson - Chief Executive Officer Innovation Credit Union