Letters to the Editor

Coast Capital directors paid more than Vancity’s


Re: “Coast Capital sets record straight on director compensation,” Richmond Review.

First, I am all for keeping the record straight. Before 2007, members of Coast Capital Savings voted annually on director compensation. Since then, directors set their own compensation. Within three years the chairman’s stipend went from $33,000 to $178,173. In 2011, director compensation at Coast Capital was over twice that of Vancity Savings.

Mr. Wellburn, the board chair, does not deny the numbers but steadfastly maintains the board has done only what the membership wants.

Just one problem: 80 per cent of the members do not agree with Wellburn’s self-serving tale. In last year’s election members voted to return to the pre-2007 method, allowing the members to set director pay. Is that what the board is now proposing? No! The upcoming vote, which is from March 14-April 8, will ask members to approve a philosophy of director compensation within which directors can blithely continue to set their own pay. This is contrary to what the members asked for last year.

Second, Mr. Wellburn does not deny that Coast Capital places a gag order on all candidates so that only board-recommended candidates have a chance of getting elected. Instead he defends such practises with, “We believe this is a democratic process.” Drawing rules so that only board-approved candidates succeed makes the election a hollow farce.

Third, in his letter Mr. Wellburn boasts about Coast Capital’s good performance, intimating that high director pay equals high performance. Business In Vancouver compared B.C.’s six largest credit unions. An analysis of their numbers indicates that Coast Capital ranks last in every measurement, except size. (biv.com/article/20130122/BIV050129987/-1/BIV/biggest-credit-unions-in-bc-ranked-by-2011-assets) In addition, last year Coast Capital donated $5 million to community charities, while Vancity Savings donated $18 million to charities. Had Coast Capital contributed $13 million it would have approached Vancity’s success. As is, Coast Capital does not even come close.

Coast Capital directors are paid significantly more that Vancity directors, yet their performance is substantially lower. Mr. Wellburn, you can fool some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Nick Loenen


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