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GFCU Savings history

The history of Grand Forks District Savings Credit Union 1949 - 2022

In August 1949, 19 local people with a great vision pooled their resources and joined together to apply for a credit union charter. Like many people today, they believed that the credit union philosophy of keeping local money in the local community made good financial sense. With this sense of community, Grand Forks District Savings Credit Union opened for business.


You can also read about Gulf & Fraser’s history here.

1938: The government of British Columbia passed the Credit Union Act and the first credit union formed soon after.

1949: Grand Forks and District Credit Union was granted its charter on August 22, 1949. The first offices were located in the Growers' Exchange building.

1950: Within a year, membership had grown to 50 and assets totaled over $4,000.

1951: Grace Jackson became the first woman to hold a position as an officer of the credit union.

1952: The credit union opened its first permanent office, complete with telephone number 79.

1955: Assets surpassed $200,000 and a new office was opened in July. Membership reached the 1,000 mark.

1959: Assets topped the million-dollar mark.

1963: A school savings club was organized in order to promote thrift among elementary and secondary school

1965: In February, Peter P. Podovinikoff took over the reins as manager of the credit union from President Cy Pennoyer who had served continuously since 1949.

1968: The name was changed to Grand Forks District Savings Credit Union.

1972: Assets reached $5.7 million with a membership of 4,247.

1975: Assets grew to $11.9 million and membership to 5,632. The inaugural Grand Forks International Labour Day Baseball Tournament was held.

1980: Value of loans approved jumped 28% over the previous year despite record lending rates.

1983: The credit union opened its new office across from City Hall. Assets were $38 million and membership exceeded 8,200. Myrtle Bryant became the first woman to be elected to the Board of Directors.

1989: Members approved the introduction of equity shares. The credit union celebrated its 40th anniversary with assets of $55.4 million and $723,000 distributed back to members.

1991: The MemberCard debit card was introduced by Credit Unions across BC. Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) were also introduced.

1992: Interac direct payment technology was introduced and gained immediate acceptance.

1994: MemberLink (telephone banking) was launched.

1997: A partnership with the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities was announced. An initial contribution of $25,000 was made.

1998: The credit union introduced cash back — a program designed to return dividends/patronage to its members. Honoured as Business of the Month by the Chamber of Commerce.

2009: Cathy Manson retired as CEO. The Board hired Operations Manager, Kelly Thomas, as the next CEO.

2010: The credit union provided $30,000 to Community Futures Boundary to help launch the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. Another $30,000 was provided to Gallery 2 for the development and installation of the permanent Boundary heritage display.

2011: The credit union announced over $1 million in member dividends/patronage.

2012: The credit union provided a second contribution of $30,000 to the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.

2013: The credit union partnered with Nelson & District Credit Union and East Kootenay Community Credit Union to form a wealth management subsidiary.

2014: The credit union celebrated its 65th anniversary. At the AGM, a $100,000 contribution brought the GFCU endowment contribution total over $500,000.

2016: GFCU launched new brand style and look. Contributed $100,000 to the GFCU endowment and returned more than $400,000 to members in dividends.

2023: GFCU merged with Gulf & Fraser

Joining together with Gulf & Fraser

On January 1, 2023, Grand Forks Credit Union officially became a part of Gulf & Fraser and our trade name became GFCU Savings. 

With the merger, Boundary Region members have more services available to satisfy their banking needs. Now, like never before, our people-helping-people philosophy will thrive to build stronger, more caring, and resilient communities that we can all enjoy for generations to come. 

Why did Grand Forks Credit Union merge with Gulf & Fraser?

In short, we merged to remain a viable financial services partner for you and our communities for many years to come. We are in a time of accelerating change, with the rapid advancement of innovative technologies; growing network infrastructure; and digitalization of most day-to-day services. In order to remain viable for future generations, we joined Gulf & Fraser to strengthen our offering to members and invest in building digital, mobile and branch infrastructure. As a part of Gulf & Fraser, we will be able to offer more support to our local communities and the Boundary Region.