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CU System
Vancity CUs bank no longer lending online
VANCOUVER, B.C. (8/11/09)--Canada's largest credit union has announced that its online banking subsidiary will leave the personal banking marketplace to focus on Visa card services and foreign exchange services for non-retail members. Vancouver City Savings CU's (Vancity) website said its subsidiary, Citizens Bank, is moving to a "more streamlined business model." Vancity also announced it has entered into an agreement to sell most of the bank's retail loans to the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Canada Trust). It did not disclose the value of the deal. The move is a good business decision because it returns capital that can be reinvested to enhance member services at the credit union, while focusing on what Citizens Bank does best, said Vancity President/CEO Tamara Vrooman. "We pioneered online banking in Canada, but it's become a crowded marketplace," Vrooman said (Canada Newswire Aug 5). Vrooman added that Vancity's members have repeatedly said they wanted the credit union to focus on its core strengths. "We're local, we're community-focused and our offering is based on building relationships and providing service. In a national online market, we were unable to achieve the scale necessary to succeed. Therefore, the bank's business model wasn't making full use of our strengths." The sale closed Aug. 5. Citizens Bank, which was one of the first online banks in Canada, will become a non-deposit-taking bank and will sell most of its residential mortgages, personal loans and lines of credit secured by real estate to TD Canada Trust.


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