To help entrepreneurs, organizations and investors — who are working to solve social, environmental and economic problems — succeed.

communities better each

We are a new, federally chartered bank that is focused 100% on community and environmental impact. Vancity Community Investment Bank is different because we measure our success not only by profit, but also by how we’ve strengthen communities and helped the planet.

Our expertise is in connecting entrepreneurs, organizations and investors with funding or advice to support the community and environmental work they are doing. To do this we offer project, portfolio, and business lending; impact capital transaction advisory services; and investment banking for community and environmental enterprises.

We believe that by supporting those making a positive impact on a social and environmental level that we can change what Canadians expect from a bank.


Who we are

Vancity Community Investment Bank was launched based on the belief that companies have a responsibility to use their resources for positive change. Originally formed in 1997 as Citizen’s Bank, the bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity).

For more than 70 years our parent, a financial co-operative, has been recognized for growing profits while building sustainable communities. The triple bottom line (people, planet and prosperity) approach of Vancity is the foundation for our work at the bank.

Board of directors team

Chair, Vancity Community Investment Bank | President & CEO, Vancity

Tamara Vrooman believes that it is possible for financial institutions to build healthy communities that are environmentally and socially sustainable while being profitable.

Over $5.4 billion of Vancity’s assets have been invested in social finance initiatives, including more than $350 million to increase the supply of affordable housing over the last eight years. This triple bottom line (people, planet and prosperity) expertise drives Tamara’s decision-making as Board Chair at VCIB and CEO of Vancity.

Under Tamara’s direction, Vancity achieved the highest profits in the organization's 70-year history and became the first Canadian financial institution (FI) invited to the Global Alliance for Banking on Values; the first carbon-neutral FI in North America; the largest Canadian private-sector living wage employer, and one of the first to create an alternative product to high-interest payday loans.

Tamara’s commitment to helping solve unmet community needs has earned her invitations to a Vatican-hosted economic summit, to speak with the Dalai Lama and to address an event hosted by the United Nations.

Previously, Tamara served as B.C.’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury Board. Outside of her work in building the Canadian social finance market, Tamara lends her voice to issues related to women and families, equality and inclusion.

Vice Chair, Vancity Community Investment Bank | Chair, Board of Directors, Vancity

A lawyer specializing in human rights, labour, freedom of information and the protection of privacy, Anita Braha has run her own firm for over 20 years. She joined the Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) Board of Directors in 2018.

As a progressive lawyer and educator, Anita sees her role with VCIB as a continuation of over two decades of work on systemic change on social and economic justice issues.

Called to the Ontario bar in 1988 and the B.C. bar in 1990, Anita has practiced law through her own firm for over 20 years, with a special focus on human rights, labour, freedom of information, and protection of privacy areas. She also serves as a director at Stabilization Central Credit Union. As a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD, and a holder of the ICD.D designation, he is committed to maintaining the highest standards of directorship.

Anita is an active volunteer in the community, having served as the National Co-ordinator for the National Association of Women and the Law, co-chair of the Human Rights Section of the BC CBA. She is a past executive member of the BC Industrial Relations Association.

Born in Lima, Peru, Anita lived in Montreal, Toronto and the US before moving to Vancouver in 1989. Currently, she splits her time between her practice in Vancouver and the home she shares with her partner on Galiano Island.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

Annette’s broad skill set includes overseeing the finance, community-building and regulatory compliance objectives of organizations that support charitable entities.

Annette holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University, is a chartered public accountant and has worked in the private sector in addition to leading her own consulting practice.

Her leadership as executive vice-president of finance and operations for the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF), greatly compliments her role on the Vancity Community Investment Bank board of directors. Under her direction, HCF has become well known as a leader in effective governance practices and pioneering new business models to support community building.

Annette has been instrumental in aligning HCF’s assets with its mission to multiply the organization’s local, national and international impact. She also leads the foundation in deepening its examination of its public market portfolio, and in recognizing that all investments have a social or environmental impact. Annette also sits on the board of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

As a long time advocate for affordable housing, Elain worked as a developer for non-profit and co-operative housing in the public, private and non-profit housing.

Elain brings her years of experience on the Board of Vancity Credit Union to the Vancity Community Investment Bank board where she is Chair of the Audit Committee. She is excited about the potential in a values-based bank to build stronger and healthier communities by building the social finance market in Canada.

In addition to her governance work at VCIB, Elain serves on the board of three non-profit organizations. She has served on various corporate boards and has extensive experience in all aspects of governance.

CEO and Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

Jay-Ann is joining VCIB after nearly four years in senior leadership roles at Vancity credit union, most recently as senior vice-president of digital solutions and business technology.

While at Vancity, Jay-Ann led the development and implementation of a new core banking system, the first milestone of the credit union’s technology road map and a foundational element in the organization's commitment to better serve its members. She also provided strategic oversight to digital literacy, core technology infrastructure, technology solutions, digital products and fin-tech partnerships working on the strategy to connect financial services and impact onto a digital platform.

Jay-Ann is passionate about finding ways to bring new values based approaches to financial services to life, developing people and fostering a work environment that encourages employees to learn, grow and excel.

Originally from Toronto, Jay-Ann brings more than 15 years’ experience as a senior executive. She draws on a wealth of transformation and change management expertise from previous roles in Crown, private and municipal organizations including the B.C. Lottery Corporation and Coast Capital Savings where she served as the Chief Transformation Officer. During her time at Coast Capital, Jay-Ann created an innovative human resources plan that significantly increased employee engagement results, and redesigned the executive suite for improved governance.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

Mary was a co-founder of ShoreBank Corporation (the first and largest specialized community development bank holding company in the United States) and became its president in the early ‘80s.

Mary now brings her expertise in raising and deploying equity and deploying the deposits of social investors in neglected markets to her role at VCIB. She managed expansion activities of ShoreBank, including the formation of ShoreCap International in 2003—an equity investor in regulated microfinance and small business banks in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe which is closing its 3rd round in 2017 to invest in financial services in Africa.

Outside of her role at VCIB, Mary is Chair of Basix and a director of BSFL (a regulated non-bank financial institution subsidiary) in Hyderabad, India. Mary is also a director of Grassroots Business Fund and Rapid Results Institute. Mary is a founder for the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, and acts as director for two ex-ShoreBank affiliates and one former subsidiary.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

William (Bill) Knight joins the VCIB board with extensive experience in the financial services industry and is a certified director from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is the former commissioner for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and a former member of Parliament.

During his time as the president and CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada (now the Canadian Credit Union Association), Bill undertook a number of strategic initiatives to distinguish Canadian credit unions as a competitive alternative to banks. He has chaired the Credential Financial Inc. group of companies, as well as the World Council of Credit Unions’ CEO advisory committee.

Bill also served on the consumers’ advisory group to the Irish Central Bank and is an advisor to the World Bank's global program on financial consumer protection. Additionally, he supports the Canadian Cooperative Association's program to assist credit union development worldwide.

Bill is a member of corporate and volunteer boards, including Assuris, the Atkinson Foundation Investment Committee, and the Broadbent Institute.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank & Senior Vice President Enterprise Risk, Vancity

Joining the Vancity Community Investment Bank board of directors in June 2012 was a natural fit for Rick due to his experience leading Vancity’s member-facing lines of business and more recently moving to the SVP Enterprise Risk role.

Rick’s leadership strengths include the ability to build member value in tandem with a more holistic approach that supports community well-being, and he started his financial services career in commercial banking where the emphasis on personal relationships was paramount. Rick then went onto a series of progressively senior roles at TD Canada Trust, TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel, and Fidelity Investments before joining Vancity in 2007.

Rick has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan with a double major in finance and marketing. He is a certified financial planner and personal financial planner and has completed his ICD, Director Education Program.  Rick serves on several boards, including Credential Financial Inc. and the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.

Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

Upkar brings innovative thinking and extensive business expertise to solve complex social and environmental issues.

He is currently the CEO of Rally Assets (formerly Purpose Capital), an impact investment and advisory firm that mobilizes all forms of capital to accelerate social progress.

Prior to that he founded and led Illumina Partners, a boutique advisory firm that specialized in strategy, operations, M&A and finance.

During his 30+ year career, he has worked with some of Canada’s most successful businesses and has been an entrepreneur, owner and advisor in organizations small and large, domestic and international, private and public, for-profit and not-for-profit.

Upkar is an FCPA, FCA, having received the accounting profession's highest mark of distinction in 2017. He obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in accounting and economics from the University of Waterloo where he also teaches.

He serves on the boards of several organizations in areas such as education, health, arts and culture, transportation and citizenship and inclusion.

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