Khalsa Credit Union Released From FICOM Supervision

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The Khalsa Credit Union was placed under government supervision because of a series of poor board decisions, including the re-appointment of KCU founder Ripudaman Singh Malik after his acquittal in the Air India bombing case. FICOM tried unsuccessfully to have Malik removed from his position on the board of the Surrey-based Credit Union for his alleged terrorist connections. But he was reinstated after being found not guilty of all charges in the Air India case. The vindicated Malik proclaimed at the time that the court ruling was evidence that FICOM is against Sikhs.

By R. Paul Dhillon

SURREY – Sikh community owned Khalsa Credit Union has finally been released from the clutches of the Financial Institution Commission (FICOM), which removed its supervision after taking over key duties in 2006 when one of the founders of the KCU – Ripudaman Singh Malik -was embroiled in a number of scandals including being accused in the Air India case, from where he was eventually acquitted of all charges.

Khalsa Credit Union CEO Dalbir Singh Sohis said KCU is taking steps to further governance improvements and he is thankful to FICOM for recognizing the excellent performance of the credit union in meeting the needs of the Sikh community.

“It is an excellent opportunity to improve our growth and solidify our reputation,” said KCU Board of Directors chairman Satwant Singh Sandhu

The Khalsa Credit Union was placed under government supervision because of a series of poor board decisions, including the re-appointment of Ripudaman Singh Malik after his acquittal in the Air India bombing case.

FICOM tried unsuccessfully to have Malik removed from his position on the board of the Surrey-based Credit Union for his alleged terrorist connections. But he was reinstated after being found not guilty of all charges. The vindicated Malik proclaimed at the time that the court ruling is evidence that FICOM is against Sikhs.

“FICOM is against the Sikh community and its success,” Malik told a Surrey community newspaper.

Malik, the millionaire founder of the credit union, stepped down from the board when he and Ajaib Singh Bagri were charged with conspiracy in connection to the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people. After the two men were acquitted, Malik was reinstated to the credit union.

In overturning the order, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that FICOM should have held a hearing to give Malik a chance to defend himself against those claims before removing him from the board.

“There is an underlying pattern of thinking and decision-making at the KCU that does not inspire confidence that the directors will consider matters in the depth and breadth that is necessary at a large financial institution,” ruled a panel of the Financial Institutions Commission at the time.

“These poor exercises of judgment have raised red flags for us that demonstrate that the KCU board is not yet ready for KCU to be released from supervision.”

KCU has 12,000 active members in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island with five branches in BC. It’s financial performance is the best in the province for credit unions of its size.