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First Credit Union looks at members’ whole financial picture

From RRSP contributions to life insurance, employees in newly renovated building are ready to help
WELCOMING CLIENTS: Renovations are almost complete at First Credit Union, and employees [from left] Kristy Cote, branch manager; Scott Kovacs, senior wealth management specialist; Katryna Lawry, financial planner; and Randall Smisko, life insurance agent, are excited to welcome members into their new spaces.

Powell River residents have a lot of reasons to visit the First Credit Union building in February, not the least of which is that the renovation project is nearing completion.

“There are a few more places that need some paint, but otherwise all the construction is complete,” says Kirsty Reid, vice-president of member experience and wealth management. “Considering that it was a complete interior and exterior renovation of a 10,000 square foot building, we’re pretty proud that we were able to stay open throughout to serve our members’ needs in a time they really needed us.”

The new space is warm and inviting, and already employees have received positive feedback on the changes.

“One of my favourite parts of the new branch is the reception desk,” says Kristy Cote, branch manager. “It draws your eye and is a big part of the new flow into the branch, because someone is always there to welcome you and guide you to where you need to go.

“Our technology station is a big hit, where we can provide people with tutorials on online banking. We’ve also added side desks to our traditional teller wickets, so you can sit down for longer interactions and have more in-depth conversations.”

The next few weeks are prime time to consider RRSP contributions, as the cut-off for the 2021 tax year is March 1. First Credit Union’s wealth management team, now permanently located in their new offices next to the branch, are available to help residents look at their overall financial picture.

“This is the first time the whole wealth management team has been located in the same place,” says Randall Smisko, mutual fund representative with Qtrade Asset Management and life insurance agent with First Wealth Management. “Having everyone and everything we need in one spot has made it a lot easier to work as a team and achieve our common goals, which are to help our members plan ahead and protect themselves financially.”

Whether people have some money to invest or just want information on how to manage and protect their finances, the wealth management team has the answers.

“People think of wealth as all about money or what they might have to invest somewhere, but that’s only a small piece of what wealth actually is,” says Katryna Lawry, financial planner with First Credit Union and Qtrade Asset Management. “Wealth is actually your whole financial picture, from your income and expenses, to your debts and savings, to your investments and insurance. No matter where you feel you are financially, someone on our team can give you the information you need to move forward with your plans for the future.”

It’s important to review your financial information on a regular basis, and with the wealth management team now settled into their permanent home, now is a good time to reach out, according to Scott Kovacs, senior wealth management specialist with First Credit Union and Qtrade Asset Management.

“Just like we’ve seen the physical changes at the credit union over this last year, there’s been a lot of change in people’s lives too,” adds Scott. “If you haven’t talked to a financial planner or wealth management specialist lately, this is a good time to sit down with us and re-evaluate what products you have and what your goals are. We’d love for you to check out our new offices, and of course we remain open for phone and video appointments. We can connect in whatever way works best for you.”

First Credit Union is located at 4721 Joyce Avenue, and is open 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. For more information or to book an appointment, residents can call 604.485.6206.

Mutual funds and related financial planning services are offered through Qtrade Asset Management (a trade name of Credential Asset Management Inc).