In response to the recent media coverage about ‘hard sell & up sell’ practices in the financial world I would like to speak about the corporate culture at the Revelstoke Credit Union.
The concept of a ‘Sales Culture’ has been around for a very long time. It is not something that neither our Board of Directors nor I have ever embraced as the business model for our organization. We instead focus on providing exceptional service.
No employee at Revelstoke Credit Union is given sales targets nor measured by the results they produce. We conduct an annual Employee Engagement Survey and the satisfaction ratio hovers around 80% each year. Also, no employee of RCU is paid by commission. We feel this has the potential to promote behaviour that is contrary to our principle of ‘what is best for the member.’
As a financial institution we have the responsibility of giving sound advice to our members. For example if a young couple with small children purchases a home and takes on a mortgage, it is essential that we recommend that they obtain life insurance to protect their family. Or if a member has a large balance in a non-interest bearing chequing account, we may recommend an account that will provide them a return on their money. This practice is solely for the member’s benefit as it moves money from an account that was costing us nothing to one that bears an interest expense to the credit union. There is no personal gain to the employee for offering products or services where they recognize a need.
Revelstoke Credit Union has never sought or produced exorbitant profits. Since 2007 with the decline in interest rates our profits have in fact reduced by almost half. In spite of that we perform very well in the eyes of our auditors and regulator. We have also been able to fund the Member Rewards and Community Giving Programs every year. The Board accepted that this lesser return would be the case until the spread between deposit and loan rates increased again. The majority of our net income is produced by the difference between interest earned on loans and paid on deposits.
Our strategy is to increase the number of people who choose to do business at Revelstoke Credit Union. To assist in that, we created the position of Community Liaison last year to get the credit union cooperative message out to those who would find value in personal service, the sharing of profit and the support we provide in the community.
We are an independent, locally owned credit union. Revelstoke Credit Union has stayed true to our cooperative values.