Update: March 16, 2017: I wrote a document called A Case Against Coast Capital Savings Becoming a Federal Credit Union, which I mailed to the Boards of Directors of each of 307 credit unions across Canada (outside of Quebec). You can download the cover letter (.pdf) and the document (16 MB .pdf). I hope to provoke some discussion of the issues.
If you want, you can skip this introduction and go directly to The Problems at Coast Capital.
Introduction to this Website
Coast Capital Savings is a credit union—like a bank except that it's owned by its members. It's a co‐operative. This website is devoted to educating you—the members—about co‐operatives and about Coast Capital.
Banking is a service that’s essential to society; commerce cannot function without it. In the old days, the big banks might not have been willing to service small and remote locations, so the residents needed to co‐operate among themselves by starting their own financial institution. These days, the bigger problem is that the banking industry can be powerful and domineering. It’s also very lucrative, and their profits (taken from you) get moved back to Toronto and given to their executives and shareholders. The goal of co-
The problem we face is that many people don’t understand the value of co-
But know this: your vote counts when the co-
My goal with this website is to provide some independent advice about what’s in the best interest of members. I don’t have opinions on every subject; mostly just about issues of governance.
What could go wrong?
There are two worst-
The second—the more insidious problem—is that the Board of Directors and the Management could allow the wealth of the co-
Are these outcomes realistic?
Just as it would be foolish for Coast Capital not to have procedures in place to guard against their own employees stealing cash from the dispensary, it's foolish for the members not to have rules in place to prevent malfeasance by the Board of Directors and Management. Discussing such issues is not a slur on anyone's reputation. The famous phrase is appropriate here: "Trust but verify." The global financial calamity that started in 2008 revealed many examples of the bad behaviour that can happen in the financial world if nobody takes unbridled self-
Is this urgent?
Implementing good governance is like saving for a rainy day: if you wait until you need it, it's too late. There's no better time than the present to start improving Coast Capital's governance. The perils are foreseeable—and some are upon us—and we should address them.
Update: October 17, 2016: They’ve done it! The Board of Directors has pulled the trigger and decided to try to go national. My discussion of national expansion is here.
What should we do?
First, do not give up on Coast Capital! Management and the Board of Directors would like nothing better than for the members who would challenge their authority to go away. But the assets of Coast Capital do not belong to them. Those assets are a positive force in our community; don't abandon them.
Use the information on this website to learn about co-
I hope that you will listen to regular members rather than believing everything that the Board of Directors tells you! Unfortunately, they’re currently not accountable to us.
Topics for Discussion:
About Banking and Credit Unions
About Coast Capital
Threats to Coast Capital’s Members
Other Information Sources: