A Brief Look Back, A Broader View Forward
Not to dwell on the year that was 2020, but we can all agree that the challenges it presented were significant and sustained. We all felt its profound impact on a personal, emotional, and financial level. At your Credit Union, all prior planning efforts to ensure our members’ uninterrupted access to the financial services they depend on were put to the test. Despite the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, we were successful in maintaining operations in all locations. Further, we were able to assist our members in improving their financial position by taking advantage of today’s low interest rates and refinancing and restructuring their household debt. For those members directly impacted by loss of employment or reduced income, we were able to provide a variety of options to assist them through these most challenging of times. All efforts were achieved while keeping our employees safe and healthy.
The events of 2020 did teach us a few lessons in how we can successfully operate and effectively engage with our members. While not our preferred method of personalized member service, we encouraged members to explore alternative delivery channels such as our mobile app, remote check deposit, and our online bill payment service. We deployed more employees in our Member Contact Center to serve our members by phone. We provided a record number of mortgages and home equity lines of credit to our members with limited face-to-face contact. Behind the scenes, our operational team was highly effective in working remotely for most of the year without the need for paper resources and staying engaged by video. The lessons we collectively learned will certainly survive beyond the grip of the pandemic and provide for a more robust service and work experience long term.
2020 also reinforced for us that we can provide our members with greater value by working cooperatively and collaboratively with others in the Maine credit union industry, which led us to our decision to merge with Maine State Credit Union. First announced in October, this partnership of strength continues to progress as our individual teams strive to become one. It is an exciting time as we assess the best products, partners, policies, and procedures to optimize our member experience and expand our menu of financial services. Reward-based checking accounts, expanded auto and real estate loan programs, and expanded services to aid small businesses in our region in recovering from the impact of COVID-19 are highlighted benefits of the partnership to be.
So as much as 2020 fouled our propeller, we head into 2021 with much promise, eager to get our members, our communities, and our region back on plane. We anticipate the merger process to consume most of the new year, with the full fruits of our efforts to be enjoyed over the coming three-year horizon. Our focus is to complete the process expeditiously with minimal disruption to our members while ensuring that our high service standards are maintained throughout the transition. We will continue to provide periodic updates to our members as the year progresses. I thank you for your continued membership and trust in the Credit Union with the knowledge that our commitment to best serving your financial needs remains our primary mission.