Northern Savings Credit Union in Masset is open 6 and a half hours less per week than the Queen Charlotte branch for sound business reasons, according to credit union president and chief executive officer Mike Tarr.
In a telephone interview from Prince Rupert, Mr, Tarr told the Observer that the hours in Masset were reduced seven or eight years ago to try to break-even operating the branch.
“We were beginning to fall behind pretty significantly in terms of the financial return on the branch,” Mr. Tarr said. He also said that in Masset, “generally, there is much less by way of business that earns us money, which is essentially (the) lending business”.
“It hasn’t anything to do with the nature of the people or population size”, Mr. Tarr said, “it is simply a matter of the fact of the nature of the business”.
The credit union has an obligation to provide service in Masset, Mr. Tarr said, but has to operate as a business. However, “we are prepared to support the branch in terms of a service in the community”, he said.
The decision to reduce hours was made around the time C.F.S. Masset closed, and was not an easy one. “It was a tough choice, but at the end of the day we decided to cut back on the number of hours and maintain a full service operation in Masset,” Mr. Tarr told the Observer.
And he hinted that business is picking up there and a review may be in the works.
“Â…nothing stays the same in any business. We are not necessarily saying this decision is written in stone.” he said, “if there is an opportunity to improve service levels by expanding our hours, we will take advantage of that”.
He also said “I have been enthused by the significant improvement in business in Masset during this last summer season. I can certainly see us taking another look at hours, particularly in the heavy season May to mid-September.”
The credit union’s opening hours became an issue September 19 when Masset council decided to write a letter asking why the Queen Charlotte branch is open more than the one in Masset. (see separate story).
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