Ratio designed a forward-thinking branch concept for a fast-growing credit union with a visionary operational model.
First West Credit Union was formed in 2010 when two British Columbia credit unions, Envision Financial and Valley First, joined forces to create a groundbreaking, new kind of credit union partnership that preserves and celebrates local uniqueness. Today, under the leadership of visionary CEO Launi Skinner, First West is the third-largest credit union in the province.
Ratio was initially engaged to address designs for a community room in a single branch. However, after exploring the issues, we challenged First West to capitalize on a larger opportunity to make an impact with a cohesive branch design concept. They agreed that First West was at a critical juncture and now was the time to set a high bar for the path forward.
Our solution features open, engaging branch spaces that promote staff interaction and personal service. The design platform also introduces subtle aesthetic cues to emphasize regional environmental and local demographic differences, while maintaining a consistent functionality across the branch system—ensuring that First West’s members enjoy the same excellent experience in every branch. More branches will be renovated during the rollout, and First West plans to add new locations in 2014 and beyond.
First West Credit Union