Valley First Credit Union closing Lumby branch

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Valley First Credit Union will be closing its branch in Lumby November 10th.

At statement from the credit union reads in part:

"Our members are increasingly handling their banking online or through our Member Advice Centre, which means their branch visits are more for advice-driven conversations," says Paulo Araujo, President, Valley First.  "This behavioural shift has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, we are consolidating our branch network, investing in technology and creating new front-line roles to meet the evolving needs of our members and remain a financially strong member-owned co-operative during a time of considerable economic uncertainty."    

It's a disappointing decision for the village's mayor.

"We're not unaware of the fact that we're a bit of a bedroom community, and that it's not a huge drive to Vernon," says Mayor Kevin Acton.  "I do have concerns for people who have mobility issues. Credit unions are normally service orientated and they tend to be really community based. So there are some concerns when I hear something like this is leaving our town.'

The mayor points out the local branch is well used.

"A lot of people in Lumby don't have cars or a driver's licence, or the highway becomes a little bit too treacherous in winter for a lot of people. This is why we fight so hard to keep doctors in the community, is because logistically it's really tough for some people to get into the major centres, Vernon or Kelowna.  We try and have our basics here, and I would say banking is certainly one of our basics."