North Shore Credit Union glams up community banking

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A recent Vancouver Sun article on the new North Shore Credit Union branch in Kits (Yew and West Broadway) reported that the financial institution has the look/feel of a spa and provides clients with unusual perks. Adults can expect to receive hot towels and complimentary espresso drinks while they wait in the curated lobby. Kids have access to Xbox plus old fashioned fun like a vault tour when they open their first bank account.

CEO Chris Catliff conceived of the novel approach to customer care as a way to counteract the “feeling of going to the dentist” which typically accompanies visits to a financial institution. It seems to be working out: NSCU has12 branches across Metro Vancouver and has grown to $2.5 billion in assets today.

The Kits branch also offers wellness workshops, not specifically about financial topics,  to promote community. On Oct. 6, the topic is Cycling Vacations in Europe and on Oct. 12, it’s Attention, Memory, Your Child and You.

Workshops will be held at 2212 West Broadway, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sessions are complimentary, but space is limited. Register by calling 604-982-8000.

Last modified: October 4, 2011

8 Responses to " North Shore Credit Union glams up community banking "

  1. maria says:

    Great post! Always nice to read about new businesses in the neighborhood. The new branch is awesome – I have been there several times now. In the 2nd paragraph, a figure of $700 million AUM (assets under management) is stated. This number should actually be $1.8 billion in 2005. Please contact me at the email address provided above for additional information. Alternatively, you can confirm this revised figure by calling NSCU’s in-house media contact: Brett C. at (604) 983-4584. Thank you.

  2. Taraneh says:

    Thanks Maria. We listed $700 million AUM for 2000, as did the Sun. You’ve listed an AUM figure for 2005. Do you have a figure for 2000? Please feel free to send me details at Taraneh@Kitsilano.ca.

  3. KitsilanoRat says:

    Why does the city need another bank? This bank replaced 4 local kitsilano businesses that used to be here. Why didn’t the NSCU use the former location of BMO at Arbutus?

  4. Bill Barilko says:

    The old BMO location @ Arbutus & Broadway is a relatively old building-it used to be a Vancity before it was BMO back in another century.

    Renovation costs in older bank buildings can be astronomical I imagine that’s one reason they passed it up-parking around there is a trial as well.

    As to the replaced businesses IIRC they were all insolvent.

  5. K says:

    I hope that the NSCU (North Shore Credit Union) loses a ton of money at this location. I rarely ever see anyone in there other than to use the ATMs. Remember that they were advertising themselves as a “Boutique ATM.” Forget that garbage.

    The building that it’s in has two floors of residential rental apartments above the NSCU. Unfortunately, the building is wood-framed, as is the roof. When the last round of major renovations were made, apparently “high efficiency” (ie.,high powered and LOUD) HVAC units were installed on the incompatible roof (they’re ok if on a concrete roof, but not a wooden one).

    These things turned the top floor into basically a sounding box – think acoustic guitar or violin; the hollow wooden body acts as an amplifier for the plucked strings. When the HVAC units are running, it’s freaking LOUD and create a significant amount of vibration. A lot of effort has been made by the owner of the building, to their credit, to ameliorate the effect, but it has not been effective. Instead of having loud noise and serious vibration everywhere, both have been reduced overall a little but otherwise concentrated into into discrete areas; one of them – my bedroom.

    The people who run the NSCU know this. They don’t care. It almost feels like they’re trying to upset the residents of the 3rd floor because they seemed to have programmed their thermostat to be stupid, compared to various other patterns that were tried, probably at the request of the building owners, in the past.

    They run their HVAC starting at 6.00-6.15-6.30 AM 7 days a week (the city doesn’t allow loud construction to begin until 7am), and it roars for 5-10 minute every 15 minutes or so, repeatedly. Impossible to sleep through and just enough time in between to be rudely woken up again. They don’t open until 9 on weekdays; apparently (based on the activity patterns of the HVAC units) the temperature reaches acceptable levels by 8-ish. They don’t open until 10 on Saturday. They aren’t even open on Sunday and the HVAC roars up at 6-6.30 AM and it keeps running as often (if not moreso) than on weekdays. During the Winter, the HVAC would roar up throughout the night.

    Today, the HVAC was warming their unit from 6.30 to 9, then started up again about noon – they had their front doors wide open and venting air conditioned COLD air out into the street. Part of their advertising campaign. “Wide open.” Yeah.

    Hey NSCU; do you care about the environment and your carbon footprint?

    The North Shore Credit Union doesn’t care about the environment. They hate the environment and are wasting a ton of electricity and pump un-needed waste heat into our local climatic environment.

    They’re perpetuating the opinion that the wealthy and the privileged care more about making more money than making an effort to make sure that ALL of our descendents have a world to live in – which doesn’t require indoor environmental conditioning to survive.

    Until recently, the HVAC would even “burn off” at an even higher decibel and vibration from 5.30 (when they close) to 7pm+ during the weekday so I can’t even take a nap after coming home from work to try to repay some sleep debt.

    Speaking with “someone” in management+ (VP?), they were completely unsympathetic, rude, and entirely un-neighbourly and unwilling to compromise. Way to reinforce the opinion that “bankers” are absolute a-holes.

    Credit Union? Geeze, you’d expect them to have a little more compassion and sense of community than any other given business. These guys at this location are being managed by an incredibly insensitive over-privileged jerk.

  6. June says:

    Sounds like your beef is with the building owner not NSCU. Have you threatened to move out yet?

    BTW: I bank at this branch and it’s great. Always a great experience with staff at this location and I’m happy they’re finally in Kits.

  7. confused says:

    K, if you are that unhappy why don’t you just move out to a quieter place?

    I agree with June, have used that branch a few times and people there are great.

  8. North Shore Credit Union says:

    Dear K,

    I’m responding on behalf of North Shore Credit Union and we have heard your concern. As a mutual tenant of the building, when you meet with the landlord to discuss we would be pleased to attend and help in any way.