Message from the CEO.

Christine Bergeron, President and CEO

For many people in BC, 2021 was another challenging year, filled with pandemic wild cards and environmental curveballs. Yet, I’m proud of how everyone at Vancity responded: staying true to our values and focusing on what matters most – our members, the communities we serve, each other, and the planet that nurtures us all.

Most important was to stand by our members through the turbulence. Our teams continued to serve members’ banking needs through the thick and thin of the pandemic. We helped member businesses get through the impact of health restrictions and supply chain delays. We helped members and communities impacted by flooding. We’ve enhanced account security and how we advise our members and understand their needs.

This relentless member focus was one key reason that we had very strong financial results this year, especially in terms of loans, investment intakes and overall operating earnings. I take these results both as a sign of the trust our members put in us and as encouragement to further improve member service and experience wherever we can.

But our work to deliver impact and systemic change for members and communities was equally important in driving our financial results. Throughout our 75 years, Vancity has been committed to addressing systemic challenges and barriers faced by our members and communities. And recent years reinforce why we must continue to be a financial force for change.

We launched our climate commitments, pledging to bring our financed emissions to net zero by 2040, offer only responsible investment options, and support our members and communities through the transition to a clean and fair economy. We released the first comprehensive accounting of our financed emissions, giving us a starting point for credible interim targets we’ll release in 2022. And we refreshed our slate of climate-focused financial products.

As part of our journey to become a proactively anti-racist organization, we are implementing recommendations from an external audit we had initiated to look at ways we can advance racial equity for employees, members and communities. To further embed Reconciliation as a core Vancity value, we are deepening our work to better understand and meet the needs of our Indigenous partners and to expand the ways we serve them. And we continue to tailor loans and investments to those underserved, including Black, Indigenous and women entrepreneurs.

Our community investment work continued in full force, funding multiple organizations and initiatives that are removing barriers and driving change in areas ranging from affordable housing to the circular economy and climate equity. We are further focusing this work while also enhancing it as part of the reshaping of our Shared Success program.

Recent years reinforce why we must continue to be a financial force for change.

We continue to be recognized for leadership – in our actions, within the credit union system, at all levels of government, and globally – on how to navigate the complexities of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth and building a clean and fair world. Our thought leadership builds on our co-operative model and decades of experience working to achieve greater financial inclusion and equity. As the world is finally taking notice of a model that we’ve espoused for many years, we represent a clear, relevant and sought-after voice speaking on behalf of people and planet.

How we serve members is a big part of what makes us different. And it’s our amazing team, who met the year’s challenges with determination and so much heart, that sets us apart. That’s why we prioritize employees’ safety and wellbeing, listen to our people, are purposeful in our actions and inclusive in our approach – and why I was so proud that we saw high employee engagement results and were ranked as the top local employer.

Not every year will see such terrific outcomes, and certainly I expect ups and downs in 2022 given the uncertainty facing the economy. But our member focus and impact work, our employees’ patience and compassion, and our commitment to staying true to our values and pursuing our vision, remain constant and will continue to propel us forward.

I am inspired by our organization, the work we did, and our successes achieved.

Signature of Christine Bergeron

Christine Bergeron
President and CEO

Anita Braha, Chair, Vancity Board of Directors