by Doug True, CEO
From our FORUM family to yours we hope you and yours are staying healthy and well during these times. In this last edition of the TrueStory for 2020, I would like to cover two topics – thank you & here to help.
First, thank you. While we are with you this pandemic is no fun, one positive outcome is reflection on what is important – the health of our team members and serving you – our members. One ironic advantage we had at FORUM, was last year’s topic at our annual business continuity planning exercise. For our table top business continuity exercise in November of 2019, we game planned on how to handle a pandemic. We had no idea at the time how valuable this planning exercise would be when March 2020 rolled around. While the COVID-19 situation did not play out exactly like our business continuity exercise, there were many similarities and this planning was valuable in shaping our pandemic response in real-time. We are thankful for the time and resources we dedicated to this planning process. Now turning to our members, we would like to express our gratitude:
Thank you for your patience. If you visit our branch locations we appreciate your patience as we served you through our drive-thru lanes during the early days of the pandemic. We are deemed an essential business by the state of Indiana, so we remained open normal business hours. This strategy helped keep our branch teammates safe while still serving you. With our lobbies now open – if you come into our lobby, thank you for wearing a mask to help protect you and our team members. Another example of patience- if you applied for a mortgage during the pandemic thank you for your business and thank you for waiting through a longer than normal mortgage application cycle. We have been fortunate to be processing a record number of mortgage applications this year and our mortgage team has been doing their best to keep up with the pace. We have borrowed staff from other areas of the Credit Union and have been hiring new team members to keep up with demand.
Thank you for your business. I already mentioned mortgages and we have seen remarkable growth in many areas like new checking accounts, certificates of deposit, money markets, and automobile loans. FORUM is in a strong fiscal position because of your patronage. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us.
Second, here to help. I closed the thank you portion of this piece by mentioning our strong fiscal position at FORUM. We are putting this position to good use for our membership. Here are some ways I wanted to be sure you were aware of while being here to help you:
We are here to help if you have a FORUM loan and this pandemic has impacted you financially. Our team members can assist with evaluating alternative payment options like skip-a-payment or payment deferrals. As of the end of September, we have helped 9,171 members with skip-a-pay and deferrals since the pandemic has started. If you want to explore your options please reach out to us.
We are to here to help if you would like for us to perform a complimentary Financial Wellness Check for you. As a part of this Financial Wellness Check we will examine your credit history with you and help you find ways to improve your financial position. To celebrate International Credit Union Day on October 15, anyone who receives a Financial Wellness Check will be entered into a drawing to win $250. One great way to secure a date/time for your Financial Wellness Check is to schedule an appointment on our website (www.forumcu.com). This allows us to be prepared for your visit and to efficiently serve you.
Thanks for investing your time in reading this piece. On behalf of the FORUM team – stay well, thank you for being a FORUM member and Happy International Credit Union Day.