Bank On Each Other

During the fall of 2016, Alberta Central hosted a Bank on Each Other contest, for Alberta Credit Union members and staff to share their stories about the Credit Union difference.


Jay and Sam Robinson's story, submitted by Encompass Credit Union, was the winner of the contest.

Jay and Sam Robinson - Bank on Each Other contest winners

For Jay and Sam Robinson, the local Credit Union helped them realize their dream. Twenty-three years ago, Jay and Sam wanted to start their own business but major financial institutions were not interested in funding them. The local Wainwright Credit Union, now Encompass Credit Union, took a chance on the entrepreneurs, and lent them the start-up capital and ongoing funds to keep the very fluid liquor business flowing.

After the Alberta government privatized liquor distribution, the Credit Union was there for the Robinsons to start Wainwright Liquor and Cold Beer. "Within two days, we had the loan to start the company up," said Jay. "It was a whole new industry but the Credit Union took a chance on us.

"As the business developed and grew, there were, and are, unique pressures of the liquor business," he said. "We need to pay in advance for orders and the Credit Union was always there to work with us to secure our inventory during peak season.

"They've always had a solution for us, and our Business Account Manager really understood what we do, and why we need capital for short amounts of time," said Jay. "They've really impressed me with their service."

Sam, who comes into the branch to do deposits on a nearly daily basis is pleased with the exceptional service she receives. "I'm treated very well. They are so nice and they respect how limited my time is," she said.

Now Wainwright Liquor and Cold Beer is a thriving business winning multiple awards within the liquor industry as well as Wainwright Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year.

"A few years ago, one of the major banks came knocking," Jay explained. "They weren't interested in us all those years ago, so I was happy to tell them, 'there's the door'."


Jarett and Hana Hooper's story was also submitted by Encompass Credit Union and was a runner up in Alberta Central's Bank on Each Other contest.

Jarett and Hana Hooper - Bank on Each Other Contest Runners-Up

Jarett and Hana Hooper are originally from the Wainwright and Edgerton area, but moved away 13 years ago, and now live in Cochrane, Alberta, but that didn't force them to change financial institutions. They've remained members with Encompass Credit Union. They enjoy that small town feel.

Jarett explained that, although they've been offered slightly better interest rates from other financial institutions, it's the personal connection and the exceptional staff at Encompass Credit Union which has kept them coming back. Jarett and Hana saw the advantage of that service and connection, saving them time and the process of applying for a loan felt more like a conversation than a mountain of paperwork. They also appreciated not feeling like just a number or being shuffled around between supervisors.

Most recently, Jarett and Hana renewed their mortgage and Encompass' Financial Services Officer Deb Fischer took care of all their paperwork, allowing them to sign their documents five hours aways from Wainwright, through another Alberta Credit Union. The Hoopers were so pleased that it was easily laid out and Deb was able to answer all their questions without hesitation. "She knew what we were going to ask and had done her homework," said Jarett.

At the end of the year, the Hoopers look forward to the modest profit share dividend they receive as something to put towards Christmas. "With a family of five, it's really great and we look forward to that from the credit union," said Jarett.

"What we receive is 100 percent service. Deb is exceptional," he said. "There are others out there who provide good service and I have changed in other circumstances due to poor service but I never have felt that with Encompass. There are no false pretenses and I know where I stand at all times."


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