Report of the Chair and CEO
When the going gets tough
The first paragraph of our 2019 Annual Report ended with the statement that our credit union was in robust shape, ready to make the most of opportunities and take on any challenges. We had no idea what was heading our way. The size and scope of the pandemic and its economic impact has been unprecedented. Financial institutions across the country, like businesses in most industries, took an enormous hit. Through no fault of their own, many of our members and the communities we serve were suffering. Because SCE Credit Union was on solid financial footing, we were able to absorb the impact, keep our balance, and concentrate on helping our membership and team. When the going gets tough, the tough continue to Create Good.
Our 2020 numbers are reported here. Many, however, are outliers because of the economic disarray caused by COVID-19. The good news is we saw asset growth of $160 million. That puts us well within striking distance of a major milestone: one billion dollars in assets. Although total loans were $38 million less than 2019, in a year when many have balked at borrowing, this should not be considered a poor reflection.
We resolved early on that we would do everything possible to ensure the health of our members and team members was not compromised. We donned masks, we distanced and we put other safety protocols in place. Switching to remote meetings became essential and postponing business travel became necessary. We had to adjust hours and work schedules, and instituted the deep cleaning of branch surfaces.
In a normal year, some team members occasionally work from home. In 2020, we had to find ways to make it possible for most of our team to work exclusively from home. By the end of March, nearly 90% of team members, excluding branch staff, were working from home.
Communicating became even more critical in 2020, not only to our team but to the membership and the public. We put on 114 virtual workshops for more than 3,000 attendees. Our Director of Branches in Southern Nevada was featured in a webinar, letting people know how we could assist members and small businesses. He was also interviewed by KSNV Las Vegas about ways to get credit back in shape.
Chat and Secure Messaging through our Online and Mobile Banking platform helped members stay in contact without having to risk contact. Social media also became a significant tool for disseminating important information. Many posts pointed out our community involvement. We promoted a Little Libraries diversity book drive put on by our own nonprofit, the Center for Financial Empowerment. The CFE also found ways to turn in-person financial education workshops into on-screen versions.
Far too many people were becoming food insecure, so SCE Credit Union supported and promoted food banks: Three Square in Southern Nevada and Shepherd’s Pantry in Southern California. We reached out to members on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, asking them to nominate nonprofits, nurses, and other frontline workers who could use a little help. Ten received $100 gift cards and we made donations to Meals on Wheels El Monte, Jobs for Nevada Graduates, and two food banks already mentioned.
Emergency loans were made available and an already existing Skip-a-Pay option was expanded and became understandably even more popular. We processed more than 2,000 requests for loan extensions and payment deferments on more than $47 million in loan balances for consumers and more than $24 million in loan balances for businesses. The Credit Union also facilitated 55 Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling $3.9 million.
The year 2020 tested us in ways we have never been before. In the course of one year, we came to realize that our doctrine, Create Good, is both an attitude and a call to action. It is meant to galvanize and inspire innovation. It is about creating opportunity, providing options and overcoming obstacles. 2020 showed us that we are, quite literally, all in this together. And together, we Create Good.