Values-Based Banking – Vancity’s Answer in Uncertain Times

May 15, 2019 8:00 AM ET

May 15, 2019 - A financial institution that only makes money by moving it around achieves very little of value beyond generating profits. Vancity is different. With its values-based banking model, Vancity is perfectly placed to support its members through uncertain times. Canada’s largest community credit union’s ninth integrated annual report, Navigating change, building community – explains how. It can be viewed at

The annual report transparently outlines progress against key organizational targets and commitments. It showcases how Vancity creates value with stories about issues including Indigenous entrepreneurs, saving a local cultural icon and new ways to increase affordable housing.

The report also provides examples of challenges that Vancity faced in 2018. Vancity’s operating region is a pretty great place to live by most people’s estimation. The problem is that too many people cannot afford to live there, and the report explores how Vancity is tackling the challenge of improving the situation. It also outlines how the credit union reconciles making money with what’s best for its individual members. Finally, the report covers Vancity’s efforts to support self-employed workers who lack access to employee benefits.

Highlights in the 2018 report include:

  • Above-expected net income of $80.6 million will allow Vancity to allocate $24.2 million (or 30% of net income) to members and communities in 2019.
  • Triple bottom line assets under administration of $6.9 billion shows that 25.1% of the credit union’s assets are specifically invested in building healthy communities.
  • Vancity Investment Management engaged with 40 companies on issues including fair wages, climate risk, human rights and gender pay equity.
  • Vancity provided funding for 3,131 new or renovated affordable housing units and 1.4 million square feet of energy efficiency improvements.
  • Vancity offered a wide range of Indigenous Reconciliation experiences, in which 80 per cent of employees participated.

Vancity’s values-based banking model is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This year Vancity has mapped its assets against each of the goals and highlights throughout the report how Vancity’s work supports them.

Vancity continues to seek out and encourage best practices in reporting. Vancity prepared the report in accordance with the International Integrated Reporting Framework and the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Standards, Core option. Its adherence to the AA1000 principles and key data in the report was externally assured.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 534,000 member-owners and their communities in the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay.

As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $27.4 billion in assets and assets under administration to help improve the financial well-being of its members, while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Vancity is carbon neutral, a living wage employer and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

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Read the Report