Vancity: on Top of Its Game

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1. What is Vancity’s competitive advantage over other types of financial institutions? Vancity’s competitive advantage is threefold:

a) Innovative Approach.

Competitive advantage can be achieved through flexibility, finding ways to adjust and tailor products and services to fit customer needs in ways that are difficult for one’s competitors to match. Vancity is in a healthy financial position, with rising membership, because it takes an innovative approach in serving the financial needs of its members. It was the first Canadian financial institution to offer mortgages to women, first to use traditional media to market directly to the gay and lesbian community, the first North American credit union to receive an R1 rating from the Dominion Bond Rating Service, and the first financial institution to offer its own socially responsible mutual fund.

b) Local Decision-Making

According to CEO Tamara Voorman, the key thing that differentiates Vancity from a large bank is the local decision-making.

c) A Healthy and Committed Workforce

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Vancity acknowledges that a healthy and committed workforce is a key reason it is able to sustain productivity and financial success within a competitive industry. 2. What does Vancity do to keep its stakeholders happy?

Vancity’s key stakeholders are its members, its employees and the communities within which it operates. To satisfy these stakeholders, Vancity uses a triple bottom line business model; it is driven to achieve financial success but also focuses on environmental and social sustainability.

Members:
This Vancouver-based co-operative was founded in 1946; it began with only $22 in total assets ,aiming to lend money to those the banks ignored. Today, it is Canada’s largest credit union, with over 2,400 employees and more than $14.5 billion in assets. Employees:

Over the years and primarily driven by the employees’ desire for personal development, Vancity has initiated a number of...
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