In these unprecedented and turbulent times in the COVID-19 crisis, we will be providing ongoing updates on the actions BlueShore Financial is taking to safeguard the health and well-being of our clients, our employees and their families.
April 29, 2020
- Learn how we are helping clients navigate the new normal
Read our most recent ShoreLines client newsletter.
- New BC Small Business Support Centre
Small Business BC will act as a one-stop resource centre for questions about support from provincial and federal programs. Businesses can call M-F 8am-6pm and Sat 10am-4pm (1.833.254.4357), email or connect with advisors through Live Chat.
- Get government funding faster with CRA direct deposit
We’re here to help you set up your CRA direct deposit for the first time or to change your existing direct deposit information at another financial institution to your BlueShore account. Learn More
- Government financial resources
There are a myriad of federal and provincial government programs designed to help provide emergency financial relief to those impacted by COVID-19. We’ve brought these programs together in one place with links to save you time. Learn More
Accessing your finances and managing your money
To protect yourself, your family and your community, it is critical to avoid in-person visits to as many stores and service providers as you can. And this includes your financial institution.
- Learn how to connect with us remotely
The good news is that you have many options to manage your money, so you should not need to visit a branch.
Our Solution Centre is here to help. You can contact us by phone (604.982.8000 or 1.888.713.6728), online contact form or live chat with your banking and financial questions and concerns. Our Associates are available 8:00am-8:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am-5:00pm Saturday.
As you might imagine, call volumes are increasing every day, so we appreciate your patience if you experience a longer wait time than normal.
Online and Mobile Banking. Use Online or Mobile Banking to check account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, send and receive e-Transfers, and more. Not using Online Banking, yet? Just contact the Solution Centre and they can help set you up and answer any questions you may have how to use it.
“Ding free ATMs”. In addition to the ATMs at our branches, you can use any of the 4,500 EXCHANGE or ACCULINK ATMs surcharge-free; they are easy to locate using the BlueShore Mobile Banking App.
Virtual meetings with your BlueShore advisor. Whether you are looking to connect with your Financial, Business, Investment or Wealth Protection Advisor, they are all available by phone, email or video conference.
Expert financial advice when you need it. We're sure you have a lot of questions as you sift through the daily round of ever-changing COVID-19 messages. How will this affect my retirement savings? What about my mortgage payments? Will I still be able to proceed with a planned purchase or property investment? This is the time we can be of greatest help; please reach out to one of our experienced advisors for assistance and advice.
Branch reduced hours
To support increased physical distancing and help stem the spread of the virus, we have reduced the hours of our branches.
- Find hours of operation
To protect yourself, your family, your community and our employees, please only visit the branch for urgent activities that cannot be completed at an ATM, online or by phone. We strongly recommend you call us before you come into any branch – in most cases, our Solution Centre Associates will be able to complete your transaction or answer your questions.
Branch Location Hours Lonsdale North Vancouver Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm
If it is essential that you visit a branch, we have instituted a number of protocols for the safety of both our clients and our employees with increased cleaning efforts, the addition of plexi shields at teller stations, increased vigilance regarding physical distancing and limiting the number of clients allowed into a branch at any given time.
If you are feeling sick or have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days, please do not come into our branches – we are here for you by phone or email.
Client Financial Relief Program
We are here to work with you on a case-by-case basis if you find that you need to defer your mortgage payments or require relief from other loans due to COVID-19 financial hardship.
- Learn more
COVID-19 is playing havoc with peoples’ lives; many are dealing with the added stress of financial hardship due to illness, childcare disruptions, job loss or business closures linked to the spread of the virus. If you find yourself, your family or your business in this situation, please reach out and contact us.
Each situation will be different, and we know flexibility is essential to responding to individual needs. Depending on the nature of the emergency financial circumstances, the best solution may be:
- to skip one payment
- to defer payments for up to three months (with the potential for extension)
- or to shift to interest-only payments for a time
Please note, any of these measures can have substantial implications for extending clients’ repayment timelines. Specifically, it’s important to understand that interest will continue to accrue and will be added to the principal amount of the loan during the period of time that payments are deferred.
To ensure we can prioritize assistance, we encourage only those individuals and business members coping with COVID-19 financial hardship to contact their BlueShore advisor or our Solution Centre at 604.982.8000 (1.888.713.6728) regarding possible payment deferral. We will work with each client to determine their eligibility to access the payment relief program, then together decide on the best course of action in each situation.
Beware of suspicious calls, emails and texts.
- How to recognize fraud
Fraudsters are finding innovative ways to play on peoples’ COVID-19 fears, anxiety and misinformation. These range from claims to have emergency relief funds waiting for you to unauthorized charity appeals.
- Beware of unsolicited calls, emails and texts requesting urgent action or payment
- Be alert to suspicious or unrecognizable approaches from anyone claiming to be from BlueShore
- Never respond or click on suspicious links or attachments
- BlueShore will never ask you for your full PIN or password or ask you to move money from your accounts
- BlueShore Financial Relief Program
- Who would qualify for the payment relief program?
BlueShore personal and business clients facing emergency financial hardship due to the COVID-19 virus may be eligible. We are working with clients on a case-by-case basis to determine this.
- How do I qualify for financial relief?
Contact us to discuss the specifics of your emergency financial situation – these could range from someone suffering from the COVID-19 virus within your immediate household to job loss, business closure, or employment disruption due to childcare requirements. Every situation will be different, and the ways we can support you during these challenging times will vary with each individual’s circumstances.
- Will interest accrue during the payment deferral period?
Yes. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to the principal amount of the loan during the period of time that payments are deferred. This will extend clients’ repayment timelines.
- What relief options are available for my mortgage or loan payments?
There are a number of options, depending on individual circumstances. In some situations, skipping a single payment may provide the breathing room a client needs. Alternately, a longer-term solution may be required; this might mean payment deferral for 3 months, with a review at that point to see if a further extension is needed. For others, shifting to interest-only payments for a period of time may help ease cash flow and budget burdens. In all cases, please contact us so that we can advise appropriately for your unique situation.
- Your Banking & Investments
- Is my money safe?
All funds on deposit at BlueShore Financial are 100% protected and guaranteed by the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of BC. Our organization is strong and stable, and our experienced management team is well-equipped to adapt to these evolving conditions.
- With such volatile markets, I’m worried about my investments. What should I be doing?
You should be reaching out to your advisor to discuss the specifics of your portfolio and which actions might be best for your individual circumstances at this time. With the situation changing daily, one thing past periods of extreme market volatility have shown is that panic selling is usually a mistake. Take advantage of your advisor’s experience and expertise to help decide on your options in this extremely challenging and turbulent time.
- I need to access funds from my retirement savings. What is the process?
If you need to access funds from your RRSP or TFSA accounts, please contact your financial advisor or our Solution Centre at 604.982.8000. They will be able to assist you with transferring the funds you require, as well as highlight any tax or repayment considerations going forward.
- What if I need to purchase foreign currency?
Effective March 24, 2020: We’ve been advised by our currency partner that due to volatility stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, until further notice clients will only be able to sell back U.S. dollars and euros at BlueShore branches. Additional currencies are available for client purchase, but delivery timeframes have increased. This situation is being assessed on an ongoing basis.
- Credit Cards
- I had booked travel on my BlueShore credit card. What are my insurance options?
If you have questions about travel insurance on your credit card, you can get most answers by going to the Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company website. This website also includes updated information about card insurance coverage. If you do not find the answer to your question, please contact 1.800.463.1623. Due to exceptionally high call volumes, Collabria are prioritizing calls to be able to deal with those outside the country and with scheduled departures/trips within the next 30 days.
- I used my reward points to book my travel – how do I change or cancel my plans?
In light of travel bans and restrictions, our credit card partner, Collabria, is making an exception to its rewards program policy to provide more flexibility in changing or cancelling previously booked travel using rewards points. The type of travel and event booking (e.g., airline, cruise, hotel, event tickets) will determine the action from the Rewards Support team; please contact them at 1.866.236.8130 for assistance.
- What are my payment relief options for my credit card?
Collabria Financial, our credit card issuer partner, has a number of financial support options available to cardholders experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Relief options include:
- Emergency credit increases for Canadians stranded outside Canada to help cover food, shelter, medical, travel expenses
- Deferral of “minimum payment due” for a maximum of six months (approved 3 months at a time)
- Reduced interest rates to 10.9% for up to 6 months (tied to payment deferrals); note, Centra Gold cardholders may qualify for the minimum payment deferral, but not the interest rate reduction (already a low-rate product).
Please contact the Collabria Call Centre at 1.855.341.4643 if you have questions about credit relief; note, given call volumes, long wait times may be expected.
- What is my “tap” transaction limit on my Collabria credit card?
Contactless transaction limits (“tap”) have been temporarily increased across all merchant categories to $250 to limit the need to handle in-store terminals.
- What are you doing for the safety and security of clients and employees at your branches?
To support increased social distancing, we have temporarily closed several of our branches until further notice to help stem the spread of the virus and reduced hours of operation in those that remain open. Staff from the closed branch locations are being redeployed to work remotely, to be available to respond to an increased volume of client inquiries through our Solution Centre, and to backfill positions in those branches that remain open.
If you are visiting a branch, we have instituted a number of protocols for the safety of both our clients and our employees. We have stepped up our facilities deep-cleaning practices significantly, are remaining vigilant about physical distancing and are limiting the number of clients allowed into a branch at any given time. Our in-branch signature beverage service has been suspended, as have "tester" samples of the Spa products we sell in branch (if you are not familiar with this program, we donate 100% of sale proceeds to BC Children’s Hospital).
If you are feeling sick or have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days, we ask you not to come into our branches. That said, please know that we understand this will be a very stressful time for you and your family, and so we invite you to call us. We’re here to help and be of service.
- What do I do if my branch is closed?
You can contact our Solution Centre for assistance at 604.982.8000 (1.888.713.6728). Virtually any financial transaction or question you may have can be dealt with by our experienced Associates. This includes term deposit and mortgage renewals, contributions or withdrawals from registered plans, and more. In addition, if you work with a Financial, Investment or Business Advisor, you can “meet” with them virtually via phone, email or video conference.
- What if I need to access my safety deposit box and my branch is closed?
Please contact our Solution Centre. They will connect you with your branch manager so you can discuss your needs and book an appointment to gain access to your box.
- Which branches are closed?
Please visit our locations page to find out if your local branch remains open.
- Online & Mobile Banking
- How do I set up direct deposit of Government benefit payments from the CRA?
Log in to BlueShore’s Online Banking through a desktop computer and follow the instructions under Account Services in the left navigation menu. Learn More
- How do I deposit cheques without having to use an ATM or visit a branch?
Using BlueShore’s Mobile Banking App, you take a photo of both sides of the cheque using your smartphone camera, then select the account you wish to deposit the funds to. Learn More
- How can Online Banking alerts help with cash flow management right now?
Through Online Banking (desktop) you can set up financial alerts to notify you via SMS text or email. Two very useful alerts for staying on top of the timing of funds moving in and out of your account include: Low Balance (falls below a threshold you’ve determined) and Deposit (when funds over a specified amount are posted to your account – for example, Government benefit payments). Learn More
- BlueShore Operations
- Is the credit union’s Annual General Meeting still taking place?
In keeping with the need for social distancing, BlueShore Financial has postponed its Annual General Meeting (note, it was previously scheduled for April 22, 2020). No alternate date has yet been set. In the interim, an online Annual Report will be posted in early April; audited financial statements for the Credit Union are already available on the website.
- What are you doing about events the credit union would typically host or sponsor?
We have postponed all BlueShore-hosted events – branch and corporate – until further notice. We are also working closely with our community partners where we have sponsorship agreements as they go through the process of postponing or cancelling these activities.
- Useful Resources