“At KCU, we simply believe in doing business in a respectful manner and providing outstanding service to our members on a daily basis,” says Dalbir Singh Mehta, CEO of KCU, who has been part of the bank for more than a decade.
There is no doubt that Khalsa Credit Union (KCU) is a well-known name among the South Asian community living in and around Vancouver. KCU came into existence on February 19, 1986,
following the economic turbulence of the early eighties and long after most
of the other credit unions in the province had been incorporated. This presented some early obstacles and challenges, but the faith of the founders never wavered, and their desire for a religious bond credit union serving the financial needs of the Sikh community became a reality.
Today, KCU serves over 14,000 members from five branches and is ranked in the top 100 credit unions in Canada. It is also the largest financial institution owned by Sikh people in the World. Since the past three decades, KCU has stood by its mission – “To be the most successful Sikh Credit Union. To care about our community and contribute to Sikh education, culture and religion. To be an environmentally conscious and committed organization
that is responsive to member-owners” – and continuous to do so.
“At KCU, we simply believe in doing business in a respectful manner and providing outstanding service to our members on a daily basis,” says Dalbir Singh Mehta, CEO of KCU, who has been part of the Credit Union for more than a decade.
KCU has provided Mr. Mehta excellent opportunities to learn and develop along with the credit union. “I have grown attached to the cooperative philosophy and its principles including sharing success and giving back to the community,” he says, further adding, “I am also excited about the enormous potential of Khalsa Credit Union and anxious to lead it to the next level.”
There are a lot of initiatives planned by KCU this year to provide maximum service to its customers. Some of them include the opening of their sixth branch at the Little India Plaza located in Surrey; enhancement of their digital footprint and deepening their relationship with existing members, resulting in increased share-of-wallet; conducting a brand review and acquiring younger members through the use of social media; and the launch of wealth management services.
“We also want to expand the activities of our Khalsa Junior Credit Union which models the governance and operations of its parent organization and helps to educate students about the banking system while teaching them how to save for the future,” adds Mr. Mehta.
It is the efficient and quick service provided at KCU that gets customers to visit the credit union time and again and utilize its many features. “We know we have to provide a better alternative than the big banks and this requires us to be very nimble and innovative. It also means our service has to be superior to our competitors and we never take our members for granted. In future we plan to broaden our service and look at expansion beyond current borders,” points out Mr. Mehta.
Besides the good service, KCU’s involvement with community initiatives is what makes them different from bigger banks. Each year, KCU returns 10 per cent of its net income to the community. “In 2015 that contribution amounted to $150,000. In 2016 we expect to distribute $200,000 to those communities,” says a proud Mr. Mehta, who is also the director of Delta Assist, a non-profit society that provides an outreach to the community through counselling programs for youth/seniors/families/young parents and groups in between.
Every year KCU provides funding for numerous academic/athletic/religious scholarships and bursaries to students. In 2016 the total funding for scholarship and bursaries amounted to $45,000. Mr. Mehta adds that the Credit Union also supports a wide range of charities including the homeless, “During the cold spell earlier this winter, board members and management visited homeless shelters in Abbotsford, Surrey and Vancouver, and handed out $13,000 in warm clothing and blankets to residents at those shelters.”
KCU is the Financial Institution to go to if you are looking for excellent pricing, industry leading efficiency, and someone to understand your needs. You won’t be disappointed!