KSCU AGM Monday night: Seniors plan protest

KSCU AGM on Monday: Seniors planning protest

A group of Greater Trail seniors are fed up with "Canada's Dumbest Charge," and plan to protest at KSCU's AGM on Monday.

A group of Greater Trail seniors are fed up with what many consider “Canada’s Dumbest Charge” – the $2 fee to receive a mailed bank statement.

In protest of Kootenay Savings Credit Union’s (KSCU) monthly fee, Joyce Cook and her allies are planning a sit down during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) Monday evening at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Here’s why.

For 60 years Joyce has kept her books in order using a bank statement delivered to her mailbox each month.

And that’s the way she chooses to keep doing business – with paper in hand sent via Canada Post.

But the $2 service fee Kootenay Savings has begun charging for paper statements has the Trail senior riled up, petitioning, and ready to take a stand.

“I realize the postage rates have gone up,” she says. “So has everything else in our lives except our income.”

She maintains for those who don’t opt for online banking, the mailed statements are the only record of proof for bills paid, now that cancelled cheques aren’t returned.

“There are many who do not have those machines and I/we do not think it is right for you to implement these additional charges.

“We have a right to that information and as members of KSCU you have an obligation to send us our statement free of charge.”

During the AGM, Cook says she’ll present the board with a petition addressed to Parliament and local MP Alex Atamanenko, asking the politicians to prohibit “pay-to-pay” fees for printed billing statements.

In the last month, the petition has garnered about 700 local signatures, explained Cook. “We decided to get the petition going after I brought it up at a seniors’ meeting,” she added. “We borrowed the NDP petition they have on line and through word of mouth have had it signed.”

The decision to implement a paper statement fee did not come easy, says Nancy Crockett, KSCU’s vice president of sales and membership experience.

“(And was made) as a result of the significant increase in postage costs, the introduction by the provincial government of a recycling fee for every piece of paper produced, as well as environmental considerations,” Crockett added.

She said the credit union will be undergoing a review of services this year, and will engage member focus groups including representatives from senior members.

“We are excited to involve our members in this project and gather input and feedback.”

As an alternative to paper statements, Kootenay Savings is offering free e-statements, and kiosks are available in the Trail, Castlegar, Nakusp and Radium branches to assist members with online access.

For Cook, assuming everyone has a computer or even wants to use a computer shouldn’t allow KSCU to charge its members $2 for a bank statement.

“I understand that and all the rest of it,” she says. “But, excuse me, that is the cost of doing business. You can’t expect to be in business and not have any costs.”

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