CEO Connect - Helping Members Through the Pandemic
We are now in our 18th month of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. While I realize the pandemic may be far from over, I am proud to report that our team at Credit Union has done outstanding work in helping our members especially in Credit Resolutions, Mortgage Origination, Contact Center, Drive-thru Teller Services, Deposit Operations, People Development, Digital Banking and Information Technology.
In Credit Resolutions, our team assisted members with over 2,600 consumer loans that needed payment deferrals of at least two months and 130 mortgage loans that needed forbearance assistance. The team was proactive in calling members that were late making their monthly payments to determine if the members had lost their job or experienced a decrease in income due to the pandemic shutdown. I am happy to report that our loan delinquency and charged-off loan ratio are now the lowest that they have been since 2007, thanks to their work with our members.
The Mortgage Origination department was overwhelmed with loan applications for members that wanted to take advantage of lower rates for purchases, refinances, or loans to remodel their homes. We processed and closed a record number of mortgage applications in 2020, and the volumes have remained strong in 2021. Loan closings on refinances were pushed out four of five months at times, but we locked in the lower loan rates for the members to guarantee they would have the lower payments they desired.
The Contact Center experienced extremely heavy call volumes due to our lobbies being closed. The days that government stimulus checks were posted to member accounts were even busier. When the lobbies were closed, our branch staff members were able to become part of the Contact Center to assist in handling the call volumes.
Our drive-thru tellers were extremely busy during lobby closures. But our branch staff members were also able to assist. There were many days when we wished we had more drive-thru lanes. However, we were able to keep the drive-thru lanes staffed despite any employee illnesses.
Our Deposit Operations team made sure that government stimulus payments were posted to the correct accounts on their effective date. The first file that arrived had a 25% error rate which meant that the team had to correct almost 1,000 payments. This ensured that our members in need of these payments received them on time.
Our People Development team recruited and trained our staff remotely during the shutdown and the travel ban. This team learned to utilize several video conferencing systems very quickly to accomplish their objectives.
The Digital Banking and Marketing teams kept our website information and branch signage up to date with all the changes to lobby hours and in-person service availability. All digital banking services around the country were stressed due to higher-than-expected volumes. However, we were relieved to have already migrated to a newer platform in November 2019. The team implemented an appointment program on our website to allow you to schedule more complex visits.
The Information Technology department provided our work from home employees with Chromebooks and network telephones to be a part of their call groups or the Contact Center remotely. They had to be incredibly innovative with the lack of Chromebooks and phones at the start of the pandemic.
I have only mentioned a few of the changes we had to make to ensure continued service to you, our members. Please know that our primary purpose is to assist you in meeting your financial goals while also ensuring the safety of your financial information. During the beginning stages and height of the pandemic, we realized you needed to know that we could continue to serve you. Our staff found innovative ways to accomplish that while also efficiently handling the increased demand for our services.
I am very proud of the ongoing extraordinary efforts our team members in every department.
Dennis Halpin, President/CEO