by Doug True, CEO
Reflecting back on one year ago, the piece I wrote for the July 2020 newsletter was entitled “Here to Help” and highlighted how the Credit Union was available to assist members in financial need as a result of the pandemic. We are proud to say we have helped thousands of members with their FORUM loans during this difficult time. As of the writing of this piece, we have helped 2,583 members with a loan deferral and 12,250 with a loan payment skip during the pandemic (April 2020). We have also helped hundreds of member businesses with payment deferrals on their business loans. We feel as though our structure as a not-for-profit financial cooperative favorably positions us to offer assistance.
As a cooperative the money we loan to our members and member businesses comes from the deposits of our members and member businesses. It is our duty to balance these deposits and loans equitably to both members who are saving and members who are borrowing. This balance means offering fair rates on both sides and ensuring the loans are paid back since it is the members’ money we are loaning out. While the pandemic created many challenges, the performance of FORUM’s loan portfolio actually improved last year and into 2021. Many members utilized federal stimulus money to pay down on their Credit Union loans. We are still here to help as we recognize some members and member businesses may still be struggling from the impacts of the pandemic.
In 2021, we are celebrating our 80th year in business. It all started in December 1941 at the headquarters of Indiana Bell Telephone Company and we continue to build on these roots to this day. Renovation has started on our Carmel branch location where we are reconfiguring the lobby to better serve you. You have told us branch locations are important in our efforts to serve you. We are working on our 14th and 15th branch locations with one of the future locations being on Olio Road just south of Geist Reservoir – not coming until 2022. The second location is being scouted and will likely be either in central Hancock County or northeast Hamilton County. You have also told us technology access is a vital convenience when interacting with the Credit Union. In August, we are rolling out the latest version of our CU Online platform. We are one of the few credit unions in the country who internally develops their own web and mobile banking platform. Mobile access is extremely popular with our members with over one million logins each and every month happening on a mobile device. Back to our 80th anniversary, please be sure to visit our website
to check out details and enter to win some FORUM swag.
Summer is in full swing and we have a promotion for our young members – the Student Summer Promotion runs through August. Members who open a Student Checking Account during this promotion are entered to win a MacBook Air. For students who already have a Student Checking Account with us, you’re automatically entered to win. Our Student Checking Account is a great way to get our young members started in learning about personal finance and managing their financial lives. Visit our website for details.
If you have been out to eat or shopping recently, you likely recognized it is a tight labor market and many places are looking for employees. The same is true here at FORUM – we are growing and we are seeking teammates to join us at FORUM – an Indiana Best Place to Work recipient for the past 10 years. If you know of anyone who might enjoy working at the Credit Union please visit our website to learn more
. Many of our new teammates joining FORUM are already FORUM members so we want to be sure we spread the word on our employment availability.
Thanks for being a FORUM member. We are grateful to see our membership continue to grow – 166,262 member/owners as of May 31, 2021. We know you have many options for financial services and we appreciate you being a loyal member and an owner at FORUM.