Kootenay Savings was formed on January 4 1969 by the amalgamation of three thriving credit unions in Trail, Fruitvale and Castlegar, offering a greater spectrum of financial services to the three communities.
The amalgamation of the three credit unions marked the first of its kind in British Columbia. Although amalgamations were not new to the credit union system, they usually came about through smaller credit unions with limited services and facilities joining larger more sophisticated operations. This was the first time three successful credit unions each with a broad range of services, highly qualified management and attractive office facilities had joined together to form a single unit.
The Salmo Credit Union joined Kootenay Savings in 1971.
The Nakusp and District Credit union and the Lucerne Credit Union negotiated a successful merger with Kootenay Savings in 1975.
Only two new branch offices were established by Kootenay Savings’ decision to expand service in the Kootenays. With the hydro canal construction underway on the Kootenay River at South Slocan, a small branch office was established in this growing community in 1972. Six years later, a branch office was opened at the Waneta Plaza in Trail to serve the needs of the growing membership in the Columbia Valley communities of Trail and Fruitvale.
In 1985 the financially troubled Kaslo Credit Union merged with Kootenay Savings after having come under the voluntary supervision of the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.
The late nineties saw more mergers with Warfield Credit Union in 1997 followed by Kimberley Credit Union in 1998. In 1999 Edgewater & District Credit Union merged with Kootenay Savings bringing in two more branches located in Invermere and Edgewater.
To provide more services and a leading edge financial institution to the residents of Radium and area, the small Edgewater Branch was closed and a new branch was constructed in Radium Hot Springs in 2009.
In September 2010, ground was broken for the construction of our new branch in Castlegar at the Kootenay Crossing Mall. Built to LEED Certification and opened in September 2011, this branch boasts high efficiency windows, walls and roof systems as well as state-of-the-art electrical, mechanical and plumbing technology.
As banking habits changed with emerging technologies such as online and telephone banking, there was no longer a need for several branches to be within close proximity of one another, As a result in October 2011, the difficult decision was made to downsize our Waneta branch and offer ATM service only at that location. In May of 2014, our Castlegar Downtown Branch was closed and consolidated with our newest branch, Castlegar Crossroads. And in July 2015, our branch in Warfield was closed and operations were consolidated with our branch in Trail.
Today Kootenay Savings, with corporate offices in Trail, has eleven branches throughout the East and West Kootenay, over one billion in assets, 39,000 members and over 200 employees. It also owns insurance and financial management subsidiaries and operates a Community Foundation.