Seniors voice concerns during Kootenay Savings AGM

60-year member Joyce Cook handed KSCU directors a petition with 852 signatures objecting to a $2 fee for printed bank statements.

Joyce Cook says she isn’t one for public speaking, but the Trail senior is one who sticks to her conviction.

With shaky hands and a queasy tummy, Cook stood before the Kootenay Savings Credit Union (KSCU) board and over 100 company members Monday night to voice frustration about fees charged for mailing statements.

She and three others spoke directly to the 10-member board during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), reiterating discontent about the $2 fee for a mailed bank statement and their concern with conducting business online.

“The latest statement fee is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Cook stated to the panel.

“I’m sure you have heard our reasons many times,” she noted, referring to customers who do not use computers, printers and cannot access the Internet for statements.

“We thank those who have chosen to go paperless as we all want to cut costs where we can.”

Some users don’t want to access online banking because of security issues, which Cook maintains should be their option.

“And they should be exempt along with those of use who don’t have a choice,” she added.

The 60-year KSCU member proceeded to hand the directors a petition with 825 names, all of whom signed in protest of the $2 fee.

“Gathered by 14 seniors whose average age is in the mid 80s,” Cook explained. “We had no problem, other than mobility, in getting those signatures in less than two months.”

The sheer number of signatories indicates the level of upset people have about the service charge, she said.

“Personally I feel KSCU has lost its original purpose,” Cook added. “I hope you’re paying attention.”

She was somewhat relieved after addressing the board directly. But Wednesday afternoon, Cook was uncertain if her concerns were heard or when the matter would be addressed.

Nancy Crockett, KSCU’s vice president of sales and member experience, confirmed a bi-annual product and service charge review will begin in the company’s second quarter and is expected to extend until the end of the year.

“It is a very careful and thorough process,” she explained. “We examine market research, including rates, fees and emerging product trends from the Canadian marketplace, as well as leaders in other jurisdictions.”

She said the company will host focus groups to gather feedback about banking needs and packages designed to suit unique member segments.

“During the review, Kootenay Savings will look to develop unique product and service packages where members with diverse needs can chose a package that best suits their needs.”

Crockett explained a very robust member survey was conducted in October, adding, “we will also be utilizing this rich member feedback in our product and service review project to ensure we meet our members needs.”