Last time I wrote in this space, COVID-19 was just really starting to hit Connecticut, hard. Many folks lost their lives in the last three months and nothing can replace the hardship and personal loss experienced by so many. Gladly, as we are now in early summer, the contagion, while still present, seems less immediate and menacing, but we stay on guard.
During this time, you and our staff have had to endure less than optimal conditions for serving you, in our branches and on the phone especially. Our branch staff, like many essential workers, has been on the front lines doing their best to balance your needs while maintaining their personal safety and complying with many state mandates. I appreciate your patience and the mutual respect we show for one another as we move through this challenging time. The rest of our workforce continues to work from home and continues to support your needs as best they can. Our most important goal is to ensure that we all stay safe.
As a practical update, we continue to adjust and more fully re-open our branch network in July and beyond. Our new branch appointment scheduling tool on our website has immediately become a member favorite to help you plan your branch visit and help us line up the right teammates to serve your needs. Please pay special attention to our branch safety protocols to be mindful of the ongoing health threat. Our Call Center hours are expanding and shifting and our chat feature will be available more hours too.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on so many of our members and our communities. We have provided many, many members and their families with emergency funds, loan extensions, service waivers and discounts, and we have swiftly made funds available to our members through the many government assistance programs, just to name a few. We continue to process significant volumes of new loan requests, especially for home loans, during this time. Some institutions have made it more difficult to serve their customer’s needs by withdrawing or reducing credit lines or changing loan criteria. Our cooperative structure is built for helping one another, and we are trying to live our mission to enrich the lives of our members and communities to create a world where financial freedom is a reality.
During the COVID-19 crisis, more and more of you are using our electronic banking solutions and we are seeing mobile banking including mobile checking deposit, online banking, and other electronic service use increase dramatically. Next up this summer is the significant upgrade to our online and mobile banking presence and functionality. Look for our communications about these upcoming changes and be sure we have your most updated contact information to make these transitions smooth for everyone. Another function we are improving is our online account opening function, making it easier for you to open and fully fund new and additional accounts without paper.
Let’s all hope for a peaceful and healthy summer season. All the best to you and your family, from the American Eagle family.
President & Chief Executive Officer