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New UBCU union CEO looks to make connections

There’s a new captain at the helm of the only financial institution between Courtenay and Qualicum Beach.

Mark Jones joined Union Bay Credit Union (UBCU) as CEO last month, replacing Sharon McGarvey, who led the credit union for four years. An Island boy who grew up in the Comox Valley, Jones is expected to lead the credit union’s adoption of new technologies and innovative member services while staying true to UBCU’s roots in the community.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to serve our current and future members throughout the region,” he says. “With so many changes ahead in financial services, UBCU has an unprecedented opportunity to lead through innovation while remaining grounded by our dedication to our community and our members.”

One of Jones’ top priorities, he says, will be to connect with members via a series of town hall discussions later this summer in order to find out what people in the community want from their credit union and how to best match services with the needs of members. That ability to adapt to members’ needs, he says, is part of the appeal of the credit union system.

Mark Jones, an Island boy raised in the Comox Valley, is the new CEO of Union Bay Credit Union.

“Smaller credit unions play a critical role in the economic fabric of our rural communities,” he explains. “Our small size allows us to be ultra-responsive to our members, while providing the personalized service you expect from a local, grassroots organization. Most people understand the power of shopping local; banking local is no different.”

Jones has been part of the Vancouver Island credit union movement since age 19. He’s served in both member-facing and management positions, including leadership roles in commercial lending and policy development. He obtained his Master of Business Administration from Royal Roads University in January 2018 and is visibly excited about introducing new UBCU members to the credit union system.

“A lot of people don’t really understand the difference between banks and credit unions,” he says. “But once they do, they never go back. Credit unions offer all the services you’d expect from a bank, like mortgages, investments, construction financing and daily banking, but we’re a member-owned cooperative rather than a corporation. All of our decisions are made locally, and all of our profits are re-invested in the community. So we don’t profit, you do. And another benefit of banking with Union Bay Credit Union is that B.C credit union deposits are 100 per cent guaranteed by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.”

Union Bay Credit Union was founded in 1944 and serves thousands of members between Royston and Qualicum Beach, including the islands of Denman and Hornby. To learn more, visit



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