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Chair, Citizens Bank of Canada
President & Chief Executive Officer, Vancity
As President & Chief Executive Officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, Tamara Vrooman believes that banking has a vital role in developing a healthy society—building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work. This summarizes Vancity’s vision of redefining wealth. She has been chair of the Citizens Bank of Canada board of directors since joining Vancity in 2007.
Under Tamara’s leadership, Vancity has gained international recognition for its values-based banking model—from becoming the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an independent network of the world’s leading sustainable banks and banking co-operatives, to an invitation from the Vatican to participate in a summit about creating a more inclusive economy.
Tamara’s achievements include leading Vancity to become the first carbon-neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada, and one of the first mainstream financial institutions to launch an alternative to predatory payday loans – the Vancity Fair & Fast Loan™.
Before joining Vancity, Tamara served as Deputy Minister of Finance for B.C. from 2004 to mid-2007, and as Secretary to the Treasury Board, as well as Deputy Minister and Executive Financial Officer for the Ministry of Health.
Tamara lends her voice and leadership experience to issues related to women, families and children with a particular focus on issues related to equality, inclusion and empowerment. She has been recognized for her leadership with multiple awards and honours and is a frequent speaker at local, national and international conferences and symposia.
About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank was formed by Vancity in 1997 as a national bank that would take the largest credit union in Canada beyond the borders of B.C. We were the first and we’re still the only bank with a clear ethical policy. In April 2008, we became the first North American-based bank to be carbon neutral, which means that the CO2 emissions we create are now equal to the emissions we have reduced or offset elsewhere. We achieved this goal through a rigorous emissions reduction program focusing on energy use, staff travel, paper consumption and waste.