For Mutual Savings Association, like most businesses that were considered essential, our biggest issues have centered on how to safely and securely deliver our products and services to clients. We are a community bank. Our clients choose to do their banking with us because they want a relationship with a local banker. Finding ways to continue to deliver on that relationship-banking model in the midst of this pandemic has been a challenge.
We opted against a one-size-fits-all approach and chose to offer multiple options to meet clients’ needs. If a client prefers an in-person approach, our lobbies are open and we are using disinfecting protocols and social distancing to ensure a safe environment. If a little less contact is preferred, we can handle almost any need in our drive-through. If a client cannot or does not feel safe leaving home, we offer online and mobile banking options, or even telephone and snail mail to meet their needs. It’s about being flexible and providing multiple options to meet clients when and where they feel safe.
As a community bank, we are also working with our clients to help minimize the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For our small business clients, we are providing payment forbearance, short-term loans to cover lost revenue, reduced-fee/free checking options and Paycheck Protection Program loans to help maintain payroll. For our retail clients, we are providing payment forbearance on mortgage and auto loans, small unsecured loans, flexible overdraft and fee options, as well as extended maturities and flexible early withdrawal options on CDs.
Our goal is to make sure all of our clients know we have their back. We know our communities, our state and our nation will get through this. Our job is to do everything we can for our clients to minimize any permanent negative financial impact of this temporary situation.
Josh Hoppes is the president of Mutual Savings Association in Leavenworth.