The Police Credit Union Summer Update 2016
August 9, 2016
As we surpass the halfway point of 2016, it seems like the right time to summarize some of our accomplishments towards the objectives of our strategic plan as approved by the Credit Union’s Board of Directors and lay out the path forward for our future plans.
Over the past 10 years, there has been a noticeable change at our branches with fewer member visits performing routine cash transactions, although members still continue to visit branch locations, they do so when seeking advice of complex life decisions such as arranging for mortgages to purchase a home or retirement planning, this shift in our way of business substantiates the report on “How Canadians Bank, supplied by Abacus Data, 2014, from the Canadian Bankers Association”. This report notes that the internet is now the main means of banking for 55% of Canadians and is becoming the primary banking choice among all age groups.
In 2014, noting the change in business, the credit union commissioned an external consultant to conduct an extensive review on its Toronto and Durham Branch locations. The research included a demographic analysis of our membership base (and in particular the membership at Toronto and Durham branches), undertaking a membership needs assessments, a review of walk in traffic, the type and volume of transactions occurring, a location assessments for each branch and square footage requirements. The results concluded that both the Toronto and Durham Branch locations should be downsized to reflect the declining volumes of in Branch Banking.
To address these results, the lease at our Toronto Branch and Corporate Office locations that came due at the end of 2015 was not renewed. Instead, it provided a great opportunity to search for a new smaller location for the Toronto Branch and a well-organized footprint for the Corporate Office. The space for the Toronto Branch and the Corporate office was completed with a successful move to the new location in early 2016. This move has made it possible to have the Call Centre operate independently from the Toronto Branch and new expanded hours of operation were introduced in the spring of this year to facilitate member’s needs.
Call Centre operations are now open Mon-Wed 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Thurs & Fri 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Sat 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In addition, a new Centralized Lending Department was introduced. This department will provide faster turnaround time for loans and streamline the lending process for our members. With these new advancements new positions were created that were filled internally with our current staff complement.
Secondly, the review concluded the Durham Branch be relocated further east closer to where the majority of its members reside. A more easterly location would be desirable given the Credit Union’s plan to improve its business relationships with members of the Durham Regional Police Service. With these details and data in mind the Board approved plans to sell the Durham Branch. These plans were first shared with the membership at the 2015 annual meeting of the Police Credit Union and further updates were provided at this year’s annual meeting.
The Police Credit Union is excited to announce the sale of the Durham Branch was completed and closed on July 14th of this year and a new location was leased at 3000 Garden Street in Whitby, across the road from the Durham Regional Headquarters’. This new location will support the smaller Branch requirements, member demographics and the proximity to one of our core policing services.
The branch will relocate in February 2017 and will provide the full services our members have come to know and trust including 4 private offices, a teller counter and a lobby style ATM accessible 24 hours 7 days a week. Updates on the exact re-location date will be provided on the Credit Union’s website and posted in branch as it becomes available.
The backbone of our Credit Union success, our staff, has continued to work tirelessly “taking care of our members”, with the growth in our business results as proof, nurturing relationships and developing new ones provides further evidence of a job well done. In 2015, The Police Credit Union welcomed both the Halton Regional Police Association (HRPA) and the Police Association of Ontario into our credit union family.
Relationships are very important to our future, with that in mind, I’m very pleased to announce the Police Credit Union has entered into a joint venture with the HRPA and a branch expansion to the West is currently in development for our members. With approximately 900 PCU members residing in the Halton vicinity and additional access to the Halton Regional Police Service a branch expansion to the west fulfills yet another component of our strategic plan. The new branch (approx. 1,200 SF) is slated to open in February 2017 and will be located alongside the HRPA at 4671 Palladium Way in Burlington.
The Police Credit Union has continued to make significant investments in its technology platforms; we aim to ensure our membership can experience the latest technology advancements made available in the market for on-line and mobile banking.
1. Members have 24 hour 7 day a week access to banking information and services through the Credit Union’s new website and on-line banking MemberDirect Integrated (MDI) platform. Members also have access to Account Alerts; alerts arrive via email and/or text which notify the member when certain actions take place on their accounts, e.g. a password change, this provides piece of mind knowing that nothing can happen on their account without their knowledge and serves to reduce fraud.
2. The Credit Union introduced the PCU Mobile app, available on iPhone and Android™ devices. These apps provide full functionality online banking via smart phones and can be downloaded from either the Google or Apple stores. Fully integrated into the apps is the Deposit Anywhere feature which allows members to make cheque deposits to their accounts by simply taking a picture of their cheque and deposits are made instantly.
3. In late 2015, Interac Online Purchases (IOP) was introduced, a product partnered with Interac which allows for safe and secure online use of the Police Credit Union MemberCard (similar to making a POS purchase but online) for direct debit purchases.
In closing, the credit union is guided by its strategic plans and is committed to developing rewarding relationships that offer many unique benefits to our members- lower loan rates, higher saving rates, free daily banking and special offers. In appreciation of the support showed by our members, please find enclosed a deposit coupon providing for a .25% bonus for new term deposits of any length.
We truly value your continued support and if you have any question or concerns, I would direct you to contact our Call Center for further assistance.
Chief Executive Officer