Canada is home to a thriving Sikh community where not only Sikhs are business leaders but also political. However, the success of Sikhs wasn’t always exponential in Canada’s history. There was a time when Sikhs had financial challenges and that’s when the founding of the first Sikh credit union occurred.
How did the first Sikh Bank start up:
A statement from the credit union explains how financial challenges of the Sikh community led to the founding of the Khalsa Credit Union in 1986.
Khalsa Credit Union (KCU) came into existence on February 19, 1986 following the economic turbulence of the early eighties and long after most of the other credit unions in the province had been incorporated. This presented some early obstacles and challenges, but the faith of our founders never wavered, as their desire for a religious bond credit union serving the financial needs of the Sikh community became a reality. From those early struggles, KCU emerged stronger and more energized and today is a model of efficiency for the credit union system of British Columbia.
Our values are still deeply rooted in our heritage and an uncompromising desire to do the right thing for members, employees, partners and the community. Growth for growth sake has never been a priority at KCU. We have nothing against growth, but it should never be realized at the expense of service. At KCU we are small enough to know you by name and large enough to serve all your financial needs, and the future shines bright for KCU and the Sikh community.
This graphical timeline shows the major milestones of the Khalsa Credit Union:
The charity work by the Credit Union is highlighted from the following statement of the Khalsa Credit Union:
Khalsa Credit Union (KCU) is a credit union based on the Sikh faith. KCU is proud to serve the Sikh community.
Khalsa Credit Union proudly participates in many religious activities, including, but not limited to, the annual Vaisaikhi Nagar Kirtan held in Surrey, B.C., Vancouver, B.C., and other smaller communities in British Columbia, such as Abbotsford and Kelowna.
As a closed-bond religious-based financial co-operative for members of the Sikh faith, Khalsa Credit Union is actively involved in Temple life and giving back to its communities. In December each year, KCU management and staff visit homeless shelters throughout their trade areas and provide blankets, mittens, jackets, gloves, toques and other warm clothing. In addition many employees volunteer their time to help others less fortunate and recipients regularly indicate that they are very grateful for an organization that embodies the spirit of people helping people.
The Vaisakhi Festival is normally held mid- April each year and signals the start of a new year for Sikh people as well as the anniversary of the establishment of Khalsa culture. KCU pitches tents on the Vaisakhi parade routes in Surrey and Vancouver and hands out free food to the thousands of people passing by. KCU also stages a Food Drive in each branch, asking members to donate non-perishable items which are loaded into the KCU Community Van and transported to various Food Banks. As part of its Community Service Awards Program, KCU presents a Religious Commitment Award to an individual who is committed to the Sikh Religion and has made significant contributions to the Faith and a majority of their life’s work has been committed to bringing positive change in society.
In keeping with its mission and commitment to care about the good and welfare of people and support education, culture and religious activities, KCU is committed to feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, housing the homeless and supporting the eradication of poverty.