COVID-19 Updates

A message from Jody Burk, CEO



Jody Burk – CEO

On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors, we want to assure you that the health and safety of our members and employees is a top priority so that we can continue to serve you.

We are following the Coronavirus developments very closely. We continue to monitor the latest advice from our provincial and federal health agencies and relevant local information.

In response to heightened concerns about the rapid spread of COVID-19, EKC continues to update members on proactive measures to protect employees and members.

Latest Updates

May 25

As the B.C. Government Health Authorities start to ease COVID-19 restrictions and reopen the province slowly, our credit union will take a very cautious and gradual approach to prioritize the safety of you and our employees. For now, our COVID-19 safety measures will remain in effect, and we will review again in mid-June. Your patience is appreciated, and the suggestions you've provided have helped shape our service on how best we can meet your needs.

Please help us further and fill in a short (7 minutes) member survey. The information will be used to understand member expectations and identify areas to improve. All members who complete the survey and enter their name will be eligible to win a shop local gift basket.

link to survey

EKC highly recommends members to like us on Facebook for the most up to date information.

Branch Services

Sparwood branch will reopen this week. It will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm, and it will close for lunch from 1 pm to 1:30 pm. Complete details on all branch service can be found here.

For the last few months, our staff have been encouraging members to use our remote banking services as much as possible. We realize this isn't always easy if you're new to online or mobile banking. To help you, we've created 'How-to Guides' for online banking services. Plus, you can always call us! Click here to learn more.

EKC has fast-tracked some services to support the changing needs of our members.

  • Members and new members can apply for a loan, mortgage or line of credit on our website. The staff will continue to review and support you with your questions.
  • Documents can be signed with digital signatures allowing you to sign documents from the comfort of your own home.

Product and Service Updates

EKC's Collabria Credit Cards

Collabria continues to add benefits to their cards!

  • Transfer your balance and receive a rate of 5.9% for six months.
  • Request to defer credit card payment.
  • Request a temporary interest rate reduction.
  • Earn 50% more points when you use your Collabria card for groceries.

For cardholder support, please call 1-855-341-4643.

To apply or learn more about EKC's Collabria Credit Card, visit our website.

EKC's Spring GIC is available until June 30th.

How-to Guides are available to help you get started or learn more about 'Ways to Bank'. Learn more here.

Financial Review and Budgeting

Is it time to review your personal or family budget? As most juggle new financial challenges, budgeting will help for loss of income, increased income or redirecting your income to support your community. To get started, you may choose some of the tools offered, or you may want to book an appointment for a financial review.

EKC's calculators

Budgeting Basics: The Workbook

Budgeting tips for COVID 19:

  • Consider your expenses; from before COVID 19, to now and as things open up where you may spend.
  • Consider your changing priorities:
    • have you added more take out to support your local businesses
    • have you considered an emergency fund
    • have you reviewed your credit cards to ensure what you need now is what you have, for example, is a low-interest rate better than travel rewards?

Give EKC a call or book an appointment,  if you need help or have questions.

AGM Update

Please save the date for EKC's online AGM on June 24. As you may have remembered, it was postponed from May 14. We are working through the details of an online meeting and a vote to change the Rules. Details will be available on May 29 here. 

Small Business

COMING SOON – GOVERNMENT EXPANDS CRITERIA OF $40,000 SMALL BUSINESS CEBA LOAN PROGRAM

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has been expanded to include more small businesses without employees.

Recently the government has expanded the criteria for eligibility of Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA) to allow more businesses to qualify. Details on the announcement here.  Members can apply through EKC’s online banking, MemberDirect.

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) program supported by Export Development Canada (EDC) will be available at EKC in June.

Our Partners

  • Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS) has started to reopen their doors with protective measures in place. Some offices may only be available by phone or email at this point. 
  • EKC MoneyWorks, please call first.

We continue to ask you to stay home unless it's essential to come to a branch. If you do visit a branch or call us, our team is working hard to adapt while maintaining our service standards.

On behalf of everyone at EKC, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

If you have any additional questions or want to share your experiences with us, feel free to respond to this email or add additional comments to the survey. We want to know how you are doing, how we can improve and how we keep each other safe.

Thank you for your continued patronage.

Jody Burk, CEO

To stay updated check Facebook, Contact Us or EKCCU.COM



May 19

Prime Minister announces expansion of support for workers and small businesses

May 1

Canada Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA) NOW AVAILABLE AT EKC!

  1. Please log in to MemberDirect on a desktop/laptop computer only (no tablet or mobile phone).
  2. Navigate to Account Services.
  3. Look for the CEBA link and that will take you to the form.

To be prepared, please have the following ready:

  • EKC member number
  • EKC account number where the funds will be deposited
  • CRA business account number (15 digits) as reported on the top of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration (T4SUM)
  • employment income reported in box 14 of your 2019 T4SUM (T4 summary of remuneration paid) - it must be between $20,000 and $1,500,000

Plus, you will need to confirm:

  • EKC is your primary FI as of March 1, 2020, and you were not in arrears on existing borrowings with EKC by 90 days or more as of March 1, 2020
  • the person who completes the application has the appropriate authority

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), is a federal government program that provides interest-free loans up to $40,000 to qualifying businesses.

The Canada Emergency Business Account details:

  • provide a $40,000 loan
  • 0% interest until December 31, 2022
  • requires no minimum monthly principal payments until December 31, 2022
  • NO Prepayments can be made until after November 1, 2022
  • $10,000 loan forgiveness is available provided outstanding balance is fully paid on or before December 31, 2022.

Qualification:

  • have paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019
  • be an operating company registered in Canada
  • your organization is an operating business (i.e., not a holding company)
  • must have their primary business operating account opened on or before March 1, 2020 at EKC
  • confirm that the loan proceeds will be used to pay for operating expenses that cannot be deferred, such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, debt payments and property tax

Expanded Eligibility for Applicants with Payroll Lower than $20,000:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance

If you have questions, please call:

Michelle Strickland Commercial Sales Representative
Dir 250.417.4721 mstrickland@ekccu.com

Thanks again for your patience.

Jody Burk, CEO

To stay updated check Facebook, Contact Us or EKCCU.COM


April 30, 2020

With the Coronavirus pandemic occupying much of our time and energy these days, we thought you may be wondering what has been happening with our Exploring Strength & Unity merger initiative.

The health and well-being of our employees, members and communities continues to be our immediate priority. As an essential service, each of the six partner credit unions has turned attention to the steps and precautions necessary to ensure we are serving our members in the safest way possible. We are continuing to collaborate and support each other on our collective COVID-19 response, such as sharing best practices on employee and member protection, communications and developing member financial relief programs. During this unprecedented time, we give heartfelt thanks to our employees and members for coming together and doing their part to help reduce the spread of the virus.

In the meantime, we have notified the BC Financial Services Authority that we are putting all activities associated with the potential merger on pause. Rest assured that while each of our credit unions is making it a top priority now to take care of our employees, members and communities, we remain fully committed to our merger journey and resuming continued efforts to build one strong, united credit union for the future benefit of all stakeholders.

We will continue to assess the ever-changing environment and keep you updated as we have more information. We wish you all good health as we navigate through this unique time together.



April 24, 2020

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

CEBA will be available next week at EKC! We want to thank you for your patience. As you know, the program was launched to banks first. It was an oversight by the government, and they went on to rectify this. Your credit union, as well as all other credit unions, plus the support of two Credit Union central associations, have been working very hard behind the scenes to make this happen. This week the larger credit unions were onboard, and next week, EKC will be onboarded.

Yesterday EKC management took part in a meeting with Central1 Credit Union and larger credit unions. The larger credit unions shared their knowledge to help the process go smoothly. At EKC, we have done all the behind the scenes in the preparation recommended. Challenges from the larger credit unions were that members did not have the required information.

To be prepared, please have the following ready:

  • EKC member number
  • EKC account number where the funds will be deposited
  • CRA business account number (15 digits) as reported on the top of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration (T4SUM)
  • employment income reported in box 14 of your 2019 T4SUM (T4 summary of remuneration paid) - it must be between $20,000 and $1,500,000

Plus, you will need to confirm:

  • EKC is your primary FI as of March 1, 2020, and you were not in arrears on existing borrowings with EKC by 90 days or more as of March 1, 2020
  • The person who completes the application has the appropriate authority

The online application form will be available on EKC's banking site, MemberDirect.

EKC has been assured by the federal government the fund will not run out of money.
Our commercial team has been proactive in communicating with members and reporting back your concerns. They are available to answer your questions. Please email Michelle if you have further questions at mstrickland@ekccu.com.

More info is provided here.

Banking

Support for your banking
We're here to meet your financial needs safely, securely and conveniently. We offer many remote banking options, including online and mobile banking, by phone or by email. You can also bank in-person while practicing recommended physical distancing at our ATMs. We encourage you to support our remote branch options. If you need help, we are a phone call away.

Support for credit card cardholders
Collabria, EKC's credit card partner, is offering to commercial members Temporary Financial Relief. They include a reduced interest rate of 10.9% for up to three months with a possible extension to six months, temporary increases in tap limits to $250, minimum payment deferrals options, online travel insurance claims, expedited over-limit transaction approvals and access to permanent credit limit increases. Contact Collabria card cardholder support directly at 1-855-341-4643 or to find out more at Collabria.

100%
EKC is well-prepared to serve you through uncertain times like these. The Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation (CUDIC) provides a 100% guarantee on your deposits with us, including accounts term deposits, Community Bonds, and other GICs.

Members Helping Members

We recognize the same benefits of local banking apply when you're shopping too. Shop local is now more critical than ever, during this time of upheaval. Our local businesses are finding ways to build community in innovative ways. For example, restaurants who are now delivering to care facilities, distilleries are making hand sanitizer, and local farm to table shops are giving to a broader market, to name a few.

We encourage our business members to let us know if we can share your stories on our social media. The more we share our 'local' success stories, the more we build the fibre of our communities. Please send pictures and information about your business to marketing@ekccu.com.

Branch Hours

To stay updated, please check our website.

Our Partners

  • Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS) will be available by phone or email only and will not be available for walk-ins.
  • EKC MoneyWorks, please call first.

In Closing

We're incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of our employees who are helping serve you, our members, during these challenging times. Our request to you remains the same, and please avoid visiting your branch in-person unless necessary. As a local, community-focused credit union, as your neighbours and friends, we want you to know that your credit union remains here for you as the weeks and months progress.

Please contact us for questions. We are here to offer support.

Thank you for your continued patronage.

Jody Burk, CEO


To stay updated check Facebook, Contact Us or EKCCU.COM

 


April 1, 2020

“Together Through Life” has been our strategic vision and slogan since 2010. It was developed from interviews with our founding members. They talked about how the credit union was there for them, their families and businesses at all stages of life; the good times and the challenging times. It reminds me why EKC is in existence and further how it acts as our North Star. It guides us in all areas; our service to members, our respect to our employees, how we work together with our staff and members and our overall direction of operational decisions especially at this time.

EKC highly recommends members to like us on Facebook for the most up to date information.

Our Members

Mortgage & Loan Relief

EKC continues to work with our personal and small business members who need mortgage payment deferrals and relief on other credit products. These relief efforts will not affect members’ credit. Our support to you may be extended as we navigate the future.

Mobile, Telephone and Digital Channels

Last Friday we had a very busy day in Cranbrook. We have to limit the number of members in the branch at one time. We are looking at the situation and respectfully ask our members to consider the use of mobile, telephone and digital channels that are available 24/7. We recommend, if you do not have an ATM card or you are not signed up for MemberDirect (online and phone banking), please call us 1.866.960.6666 or phone your branch, numbers are listed here, Contact Us.

Peace of Mind

EKC is here to answer your questions and work with you to find solutions. If you’re concerned about your investments in light of current market volatility, reach out to EKC or EKC MoneyWorks. We have the expertise to help you navigate temporary instabilities and achieve your long-term goals.

Void Cheque

If you are applying for government subsidies, your direct deposit information can be found in one of two places. If you have a cheque for your account, you'll see the direct deposit information printed on the bottom of the front of your cheque. Or log in to EKC’s MemberDirect online banking and go to the ‘Account Services’ menu. To print the information of a void cheque, go to your account you would like the deposit to go in and click on the void cheque icon. It will bring you to a page of your information! More information online banking is available here.



Our People

We’re following direction from the Government of Canada and the Government of B.C. and taking proactive measures to ensure our members and our employees are protected. We are also working with employees to understand their individual circumstances during this unprecedented time.

Increased Protections

  • Increased sanitization of our workspaces and member service areas
  • Promoting ‘best in class’ hygiene practices by all employees
  • Added informative signage and floor decals
  • Implemented new work stations to comply with social distancing and separation of staffing who work in the same area
  • Enabled work-from-home arrangements wherever possible
  • Protecting our employees and members by discontinuing in-person appointments to the branch unless absolutely necessary and prompting non-branch delivery channels and phone appointments
  • Working with our members to use digital signing technology to allow for signing credit union documents on the phone or computer
  • Added protective shields for front line employees
  • Purchased a significant supply of hand sanitizer from local vendors
  • Added security at the front door of Cranbrook and door monitoring at the other branches to maintain social distancing protocol
  • Reduced branch hours
  • Requiring isolation to employees who are sick, travelled outside of Canada or in a place where more than 50 people congregated

Change in Service

As we navigate this dynamic situation, we are required to adapt to the branch experience. Branch hours or even branch closures may have to happen quickly.

Temporary Branch Hours

  • Sparwood Tue/Thu 10am–3pm; Mon/Wed/Fri closed to foot traffic; closed daily 1–1:30pm
  • Cranbrook & Fernie Tue–Fri 10am–3pm and Sat. 10am–2pm
  • Elkford Mon/Wed/Fri 10am–3pm; Tue/Thu closed to foot traffic; closed daily 1–1:30pm
  • Commercial Tue–Fri. 10am–3pm and Mon 10am–2pm

Temporary Phone Service Hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday - 9am-3pm

We have configured the phone system that allows calls from branches to have their phones answered by extra staff.

If these hours change we will post updates on Facebook or at EKCCU.COM Contact Us.

AGM & Community Cash

The Board has voted to postpone our AGM and Community Cash program. We will update you when we have confirmed a new date.

Our Partners

  • Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS) - available by phone or email only and will not be available for walk- ins. Keep up to date at KIS.
  • EKC MoneyWorks - please call first 1.533.5533 to book a phone meeting.

We appreciate the support and positive comments we have received from our members in emails, messages and on social media. It emphasizes how together we will get through this.

Thank you for continued patronage.

March 28, 2020

Annual General Meeting & EKC Community Cash Postponed until further notice.

March 24, 2020

Since 1950, EKC has worked with our members in good times, previous downturns and now during this current period of uncertainty.

In response to heightened concerns about the rapid spread of COVID-19, EKC continues to update members on proactive measures to protect employees and members.

EKC highly recommends members to like us on Facebook for the most up to date information.

Our People
We are taking every reasonable effort to protect our members and employees. We are working with staff individually to understand their needs for their financial wellbeing, childcare requirements and needs to self isolate due to travel or family.

Change in Service
Please be assured that we've increased our sanitization efforts and are finding innovative ways to meet your needs.

We're increasing support for members to do banking over the phone but still experiencing high call volume. By next week we will have a new phone system that will better direct calls.

EKC is complying with government requirements on social distancing to keep everyone safe. You may notice plexi glass shields at the wickets. You may have to wait to enter the branch or you may be asked the following questions at the door by security staff:

  • Are you're feeling sick or have travelled outside the country?
  • Please keep at least six feet between others.
  • Please understand we may limit conversation to make sure we can accommodate all members.
  • Can your banking be done over the phone?
  • All appointments will now be done on the phone or by email as most offices do not allow the mandatory six-foot social distancing. Please let us know if your circumstances require an in-branch appointment.

Mortgage & Loan Relief
EKC will work with our personal and small business members who need mortgage payment deferrals and relief on other credit products. These relief efforts will not affect members’ credit. Our support to you may be extended as we navigate the future.

2020 RRIF Minimum Amount Changes
The Government of Canada announced immediate RRIF annuitants can request a 25% reduction to their 2020 RRIF minimum payment. Please contact us for details.

Doing Business in New Ways
Virtually, all of your banking needs can be achieved from the comfort of your home. With additional measures put in place, we are asking that you take advantage of our banking options. Call your branch, after hours technical phone service, email, MemberDirect, our online banking site, from your mobile phone by downloading our mobile app, e-transfers and international e-transfers, ATMs and night depositories. Visit our Ways to Bank page to learn more.

Our Partners

  • Kootenay Insurance Services (KIS) will available by phone or email only and will not be available for walk- ins.
  • EKC MoneyWorks please call first.

In Closing
With a strong financial base and deposits 100% guaranteed by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, we are here to serve you today, tomorrow and into the future.

Thank you for continued patronage.


March 20, 2020

On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors, we want to assure you that the health and safety of our members and employees is a top priority so that we can continue to serve you.

We are following the Coronavirus developments very closely. We continue to monitor the latest advice from our provincial and federal health agencies and relevant local information.

The risk of contracting the illness, today remains low. At this time, EKC has not been impacted by COVID-19 and we have not had any employees show symptoms of the virus. Therefore, you may notice changes to how we greet you or your appointment may not be in the usual office in support of these recommendations. These are just precautions to further protect you our member and our employees during this time.

We recognize that you may have some questions about how we're responding to this evolving situation. EKC has mobilized a team who have put plans in place and are responsive to the changes. Updates to staff and you, our members, will be posted when changes occur.

EKC branches are open and will remain open to serve you. We have made more staff available by phone and email to support you if you are not feeling well.

EKC Takes Additional Precautions

EKC branches are remaining open. We have adjusted staff levels, are performing extra cleaning, and introduced social distancing to reduce personal contact.

Banking Tips for You and Your Family

 

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