First West Credit Union
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First West Credit Union Employee Reviews

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4.0
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Constantly changing
Competitive and constantly changing. Good work/life balance offered and good benefits. Lots of opportunities for advancement from retail credit union locations to management, to head office.
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3.0
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Excellent coworkers
There are a variety of leaders at First West Credit Union. Each prospective employee can make their own decisions regarding their fit with the organization and its current leaders.
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4.0
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a real treat
it was super awesome to work and do stuff for money here. They sometimes let me go home early and they sometimes did not, but mostly they did not let me.
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5.0
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Best company I've ever worked for
First West cares immensely about our members and about the employees. The benefits are excellent and the flexible schedules recognize work life balance. Most importantly, if you're a hard worker and showcase interest in your own career development, the opportunity to advance your career is limitless. Several people on our senior leadership team began as front line tellers!
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Official response from First West Credit Union
9 May 2019
Thanks for letter people know how committed we are to advancing members of our team!
3.0
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Depends on what you are looking for
Worked for this organization for 15+ years and saw a lot of changes - not all good, not all bad. The biggest problem is upper management - too many cooks in the kitchen, and all wanting the menu to be what they want. Change is a DAILY thing, which doesn't give staff enough time to really learn what is going on and they really don't have any support. Departments are changing monthly - really hard to figure out where you are supposed to go for help. The company has lost the Credit Union values and operates just like a big bank (without the technological or financial support of big banks). This means if you are in branch expect high targets and pressure to sell. I have never seen so many people fired, or let go via restructure in my entire life - this causes stress as well as you are always worried about your job. There are people with great ideas/vision but they just aren't heard. They are working towards harmonization, but it is taking years and is very stressful for frontline staff. If you enjoy high stress, little advancement, good pay and benefits, then go for it! Take the experience and run!
Pros
Wages and Benefits
Cons
Stress, poor upper management, high staff turnover
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Official response from First West Credit Union
9 May 2019
Continuous improvement is a core practice at First West, and these sometimes significant steps are taken to improve the ways we meet the needs of members. As our world becomes more digital, our members seek financial services in new ways, which may change how we do business but doesn't alter our commitment to serving those in our community. It's not always comfortable to alter course, which is why we strive to help employees through training, communication, and roles in which they can thrive. We appreciate knowing your personal thoughts, and hope you find something better suited to your goals.
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2.0
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A cultural nightmare
I worked in the admin for this credit union and wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. With head offices located in multiple cities, communication is poor and leaders play favourites with regional staff. It's a toxic "us vs them" mentality and they are constantly restructuring the departments to try to figure out how to use all the staff they gain during mergers. I've never worked anywhere else with this many unhappy staff and the competitiveness is far from healthy. The department I worked in was in a constant state of change and everyone was always tense and worried someone else might take their job or their opportunities. While things like staff surveys are done, management isn't listening.
Pros
Flexible hours, not a lot of OT expectations. Fair pay
Cons
Toxic work culture
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Official response from First West Credit Union
9 May 2019
One of the things we're most proud about at First West is being local. Our regional management offices ensure that our leadership teams can connect with employees and communities from Vancouver Island to BC's interior - and provide unique job opportunities to people who live in these areas. Sometimes these opportunities mean that our employees can experience new roles and grow their career in new ways, and yes, this can create short-term changes over time. We're committed to helping our team members succeed together as they are working to direct their career.
2.0
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Needs Help
This company has things all backwards when it comes to management. Nothing can get done, because no one can make a decision on anything without consulting everyone else in the entire organization - lord help us if someone doesn't feel like they had the ability to put heir two cents in - even when they have nothing to do with it. Oh, and of course, down forget the meetings to discuss what will be discussed in the meeting next week, to discuss what will be discussed in the meeting next month.
Hopeless..
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Official response from First West Credit Union
9 May 2019
Our culture at First West includes the principle of "succeeding together," which sometimes means seeking the expertise and agreement of our colleagues. This allows us to make the best decisions for our members, employees, and communities to thrive. It's understandable that you may want easy answers, and though that isn't always possible we strive to act quickly on significant priorities without overlooking the due diligence our members expect.
4.0
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great place to work
If you have a dedication to grow your career and lead people. A strong work ethic and ability to handle heavy work loads with tight deadlines FWCU is the right place for you.
Pros
education opportunities
Cons
long hours
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Official response from First West Credit Union
30 November 2018
Thanks for letting us know about the positive aspects of your experience working at First West Credit Union – and for identifying an area that you would have liked to see improvement.
5.0
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Flexible Work, great place, awesome team
Great place to work; flexible hours. People are friendly and great to work with. Organizational culture is forward thinking. Typical day is never dull, always exciting.
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Official response from First West Credit Union
13 November 2018
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for helping our organization thrive.
1.0
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Yikes don't work here
Management only hires friends for promotions and protects them no matter what. High staff turnover.As you're pay grade moves up you will get fired to save money and they will replace you with lower pay grade.
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Official response from First West Credit Union
13 November 2018
Although many/most of our employees enjoy lengthy careers with us, some have a shorter term of engagement for a variety of reasons. We hope the experience, support and training that we provided during their employment helps them achieve future job goals.
5.0
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Love my teams - we're local!
First West has a unique model where we have strong local brands and leadership while enjoying the benefit of shared services.

Because we have great tech, I can do my shared service role from my home town - our 'head office' is everywhere! I feel I belong both with my regional team as well as my shared service colleagues.


We are competitive externally and are becoming more collaborative internally. CEO is visionary and accessible.


As a company we're ambitious and growth-oriented so the pace is pretty fast - but that brings opportunity. We celebrate and support each other. I appreciate the internal mentorship and active succession planning.


Get ready to work hard and to be rewarded fairly.
Pros
Visionary leadership, growth opportunities
Cons
As we grow, our 'family' feel changes
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Official response from First West Credit Union
13 November 2018
Thanks for sharing positive feedback about working at First West Credit Union. Our community of members and employees reaches far throughout BC, and we’re thrilled to provide a work experience that may provide the flexibility many are looking for!
2.0
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too many changes since the merger, not enough support
Everyone is struggling to keep up with all of the current changes which have been going on for nearly 2 yrs. Noone can keep up with which department does what, who to contact, and management is never around to support you. People are quitting in frustration, and others are getting let go to 'clean up' in certain areas. Huge concern all around in regards to where the company is headed. More execs are being hired from the big banks and talk of going federal means the organization will become just another big bank ...... very sad and disappointing, not at all what it used to be.
Pros
great benefits and decent pay, friends you make
Cons
pretty much everything else
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Official response from First West Credit Union
13 November 2018
We understand that it can be challenging to keep up with the fast pace of change in the financial industry, and the new ways of doing business that are created by innovation. Our communication Hub, learning and development, and employee support programs are there to help our staff continue providing excellent member service. If there are other suggestions and solutions that will help our employees succeed together, our leaders are always willing to hear your ideas.
1.0
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Different regions have different experiences
I feel that if you work in the region that seems to drive this ‘corporation’ (where the head office is) you may have a higher regard for or better experience with this company than if you work in any of the other regions.
- This is definitely a numbers driven company. This does create stress in employees.

- The culture is that of a large company with a head office far removed from the employees.

- Decisions come from a place far removed from the employees and the work they must perform to meet their numbers.

- The pay and benefits are good.
Pros
Salary and benefits
Cons
Employee relations and culture
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Official response from First West Credit Union
9 April 2018
Thanks for taking the time to share this thoughtful feedback about your experiences. We’re always listening to input for improvement, so don’t hesitate to contact us at https://www.islandsavings.ca/Personal/ContactUs/Contact/ if further conversation would be beneficial.
5.0
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Great place to work
Culture is awesome and everyone is really nice
work life balance

great benefits

good salary

great engagement

everyone is willing to help

community involvement is so nice to help others
Pros
benefits
Cons
none
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Official response from First West Credit Union
20 February 2018
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, we are encouraged by your feedback and are glad you are helping us make Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, even better.
5.0
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Regional Office
First West has a very knowledgeable and personable Leadership Team. They regularly stop by each area of business to touch base with how you are doing. Very approachable and genuine! I worked in branch for two years and currently work at the Regional Head office. If you work hard you will be acknowledged for it. I find there is a great work / family balance. There are endless opportunities and directions you can choose if you are wanting to move in another direction. I love my job, my Management Team is honest and very supportive, great mentors!
Pros
Great hours, friendly work environment, supportive leadership, variety of tasks, endless courses at hand if you want to further your knowledge
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Official response from First West Credit Union
20 February 2018
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience at First West Credit Union. We value and listen carefully to team members’ feedback, and it is great to hear what is meaningful to you.
3.0
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Not bad - not great
I have recently departed FWCU after many years of service. Like any place there is both the good and the bad. If you start a career at FWCU and want growth it will take effort and it will take significant time to be recognized. It is not a place where you will feel supported and mentored. In my opinion there are more bad managers than good, but this will flush out over time.

FWCU does make an effort to prioritize Work/Life balance and I appreciated that.


Benefits and perks are good but could be improved and vacation allowance is decent but not great.


Overall it a good place to spend a couple of years and pick up some experience. If you are looking for something long term there is probably better options.
Pros
Banking Perks, Work Life Balance
Cons
Average benefits and growing number of bad managers
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1.0
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A top heavy organization
When I began my employment with this organization, it often appeared in the list of top employers to work for in British Columbia. Today it is a different organization.

Middle and upper management are an entitled and privileged group with seemingly little concern for those member facing employees who help generate the revenue to support their salaries. The workload is heavy and the company consistently runs short staffed. You will be expected to achieve massive sales and referral targets annually or face losing your job.


There is little consistency in the way that each branch/office is managed. Your experience will entirely depend upon the manager you get. I have had wonderful managers over the years, but I have also had many epic failures in managers I was unfortunate enough to have to work for.



Training within this company for both new hires and existing employees is poor to say the least. Your workload is heavy in this high pressure sales environment and the expectation is that you learn what you need to learn on your own time or when you have a second of spare time in your day. Unrealistic and you're being set up to fail.
Pros
Average Remuneration - Good Benefit Plan
Cons
Poor Management - Poor Communication & Training - Excessive workloads
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2.0
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Merger with First West has negatively impacted culture
Since Island Savings merged with First West it is not the same. Where before you had a sense of working together, now you're isolated and working with a team in different location. Projects are poorly rolled out now as management in Langley doesn't know how Island Savings does things. It used to be a community employer that felt like family. Now it feels like a big bank where you're just a number. There are very heavy work loads and management only thinks your engaged if you work through your lunch hour and don't take breaks.
Pros
Salary and benefits
Cons
Culture and working conditions
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5.0
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First West treat you as family not as employee
In every company I work for I not only bring new energy, fresh ideas and a different way of thinking, induce teamwork but also help fellow work colleagues to achieve their full potential. The foundation of my success lies in my ability to ensure that every team has an established plan and any risks/growth accounts are flagged and have
appropriate management plans in place. First West gave me all the opportunities to move on and helps me build myself. I love to stay with First West but my family lives in Los Angles. If i get a chance to relocate and live with family that would be great.
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2.0
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getting more sales-driven, poor branch management
ive been in the banking industry 20 yrs and never worked for a company with such mixed up managers as this one. Some mngrs are really great, don't want to blanket them all, but most have driven staff to quit. The salary/benefits are quite decent which is good because you work alot of OT to compensate stress leaves and short staff issues. The Execs keep insisting the company is not sales pressure focussed but most branch mngrs say much different, to the point of putting your job on the line unless you increase your sales.
Pros
salary and benefits, meeting people
Cons
everything else
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5.0
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Strongly recommend this organization to work for.
I have read the prior reviews and my position is far from negative as some are. FirstWest is an incredible organization that values its employees and provides a wealth of opportunity for those who want to flourish in their career. The benefits and salary are decent, and some of the best compared to similar organizations that I have seen. I highly recommend them as an employer.
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