I’ve said it many times, many ways, but I’ll take a brief moment to remind the readership of the general excellentness of the Metro Credit Union in Charlottetown.
There are two primary reasons that the Credit Union is attractive to me.
First, they have, without exception, the friendliest, most helpful staff of any financial institution in town. While staff at the mainline banks always make me feel that they are doing me a favour by letting me lend them my money, Credit Union staff never make me feel this way. Today I showed up at 4:59 p.m. (with a closing time of 5:00 p.m.) and engaged a teller in a complicated U.S.-dollar cheque deposit, followed by a cheque certification. This ran us well past 5:10 p.m., and she never gave me a hint that I was inconveniencing her. You can’t train or cajole people to be this way: you simply start with good, honest, friendly people, and back them up with systems and policies that support and encourage this.
Second, my money is staying on Prince Edward Island. The money I have on deposit can be loaned out to local businesses, used to develop the credit union, and so on. It’s not going to build large skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver.
The Credit Union is not without its drawbacks: their local website is ugly and useless; their online banking site is, as I’ve mentioned here before, only getting worse. And though you might think that the credit unions of Canada are a happy cross-pollinating bunch, this turns out not to be the case: walking into Charlottetown and trying to deposit money into a VanCity account is just as onerous as depositing the same money into a major bank account.
None of these, save perhaps the local drech-site, is really under local control. And none detracts from the general wonderfulness of the institution and its staff.
If you’re currently dissatisified with your major bank’s services, you cannot go wrong switching to the credit union.