The announcement that the Board of Governor’s of Coast Capital Savings has elected a new Chair is good news for the credit union and it’s members. Bill Wellburn’s compensation became the focal point of our campaign to reform Coast Capital. Now that he is no longer in the driver’s seat perhaps we will see some movement towards a more democratic, member oriented credit union.
The recent election was a wakeup call for the Board. An institution can ‘t survive when leadership is able to convince only 50% of voters to support the policies it advocates. The future of Coast Capital was endangered and that is obviously what the Board concluded. By electing a new Chair, it has bought itself some time to convince the dissatisfied membership that there are better days ahead.
For the many members that have told us that they are leaving Coast Capital, we urge patience, let’s give the Board a chance to show the members that they recognize that with policy changes our credit union can be more successful than ever.
How the Board decides to proceed with a process that returns control of Director Remuneration to members will be watched very closely. We want to work with the Board so it is imperative that they recognize that it is unreasonable for the Directors to press for the right to set their own compensation. Paying lip service to a solution and then rigging the outcome (such as a show of hands vote at AGM’s) won’t work.
We have received several suggestions from members on the subject of the Director’s Remuneration that might be worth putting to the new Board. Even if they are not accepted, they demonstrate good faith.
Our campaign was well worth it and may have set the stage for a turn in direction.
We can all hope that will be the result.
Members upset with the Board should raise concerns with FICOM.
It is the Board’s Fiduciary Duty under the Credit Union act to work in the best interests of members, not themselves. The Board of Directors is required to act in the best interest of members, and this must take priority over the interest of the Directors themselves according to the Credit Union Act.
FICOM is the Financial Institutions Commission that oversees Credit Unions in BC. Members have the right to voice their concerns to FICOM who must respond.
If members feel that Directors are neglecting their Fiduciary Duty to members by putting their own interests in front of the interests of members, and feel that the Board is putting the good reputation of Coast Capital Credit Union at risk by the shameful way in which they acted to obstruct member Special Resolutions, then members have the right to issue a complaint to FICOM.
We encourage members to “Have their Say” and contact FICOM directly with their concerns. We will provide more information on how to do that in a future post. If you have any questions, please ask.
It is your money, it is your credit union.
Together, we can make it better.
For more information, you can refer to the FICOM website.
The FICOM complaint form is available online here.
Many members tell us that they are leaving Coast Capital following the shameful behaviour of the Board at the AGM and during the election. While we understand that you need to ensure your money is placed in an institution that aligns with your values, we hope that you will remain a member and help us fix this.
While we may have lost this round, there is much positive that comes out of this election.
By having all 8 resolutions fail, the Board’s own resolution to ratify the Remuneration Task Force recommendations has also failed. This means that members have rejected their claim that they should be able to pay themselves by comparing to the big banks. This is good news.
The only Special Resolution that has ever passed is our Special Resolution from 2013 where 79.7% of members who vote said that they wanted MEMBERS to set director pay, not directors themselves. We will hold the Directors to that, but we will need your help too.
Stay tuned for our next steps and recommendations. We are not finished yet. We will continue to work with members and Coast employees to restore Coast Capital to its roots as a Credit Union.