The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we do business. But at Coastal, it hasn’t changed why we do what we do - our mission - which is helping our members bank better to live better. If anything, it’s strengthened that commitment.
The business model that Coastal follows to deliver on our mission takes a balanced approach to employee engagement, member loyalty, community impact and financial strength. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve worked to ensure each of these things has been a continued area of focus.
Early in the crisis, we moved most of our employees to remote work environments, and worked to ensure the safety of those who couldn’t work elsewhere. I’m pleased to report that, to date, none of our 570-plus employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
By getting our employees settled quickly, we were able to put our efforts into doing as much as we can to help our members through the financial effects of the pandemic. We implemented Skip-A-Pay for members with a variety of loans, including auto loans, signature lines of credit, personal loans and credit cards. We’ve modified other loans and provided mortgage forbearances through our Member Assistance Program to help give members some financial breathing room over the next few months. We suspended or reduced several fees, and very early on we halted foreclosures and repossessions. We also found a partner to help our small business members to apply for loans through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Throughout all of this, we managed to provide uninterrupted teller service, and access to nearly all of our other services through online and mobile banking, and our 24-hour call center.
Delivering Financial Results
While all of this will have some impact on our financial results, we still expect to have a decent year. Fortunately, the lessons we learned during the financial crisis of 2008-2009 led to years of planning and maintaining strong reserves that has us well-positioned to deal with what we’re facing now and the challenges that lie ahead.
Supporting the Community
We’ve also helped give back to the community by supporting area nonprofits who are working to provide other relief from COVID-19. So far, the Coastal Credit Union Foundation has donated nearly $700,000 to organizations that are helping people in all of the 16 counties that we serve. We’ve also published a list of community resources that are providing support throughout the community.
We haven’t stopped adjusting to the effects of this crisis. We’re actively working toward what fully-reopening our branches will look like, and hope to be able to share that plan with you in my next update. We’re also assessing what the long-term effects may be on consumer behavior, and on our industry. Just as we did a decade ago, we’re taking in everything we can learn from this situation, and will use that to shape how we plan to thrive – and help you thrive – well into the future.
The path ahead may be uncertain at times but, to borrow some words from Bob Kloss (often attributed to credit union pioneer Edward Filene), our purpose remains constant.
Until next time, please continue to be safe.
President & CEO
Our featured coffee is Boxcar Blend from Lowe’s Foods.