The current coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on everyone and we recognise that this is an incredibly worrying time. Of course, people are desperately worried about their own health and the health of their family and friends, but people are also facing huge challenges to their personal finances. Many will be worrying about whether their employment will continue, or whether they will be forced into part time hours or face a loss of overtime and bonuses. The self-employed will be worried about losing valued clients.
In addition to the impact on health and finances, people are worried about whether the normal way of life will continue during the crisis. We’ve seen rationing in shops, and supplies of some staples running short, and there will be other issues over the next few weeks in unexpected places.
Here at Stockport Credit Union we are working our way through the challenges. We had already embarked on a journey of modernising the business and some of the changes we had already made will help us to operate during this crisis. We are now in the process of making further changes which should also help.
I want to reassure you that we have a detailed plan for keeping the business running, and this is already in operation. We’re fully able to organise the withdrawal of member savings as usual even though our staff are largely working from home, and we are currently working on loan applications received yesterday – business as usual. I’m incredibly proud of my team for having managed to make the transition from office based to home working with very little time to plan out those changes, and we’re doing more than coping – we’re improving the way we have previously operated.
We have money to lend, and an appetite to lend it. We want to support the local community and welcome loan applications from those who have not had a borrowing relationship with us before. We also are keen to talk to employers in the area who would like to set up a payroll deduction scheme to help their employees.
We may need to make further operational changes in the coming weeks. Our collection points are likely to close, and our telephone operating times will be reduced. You will however continue to be able to deposit and withdraw savings and apply for loans. It is largely business as usual.
Jonathan Moore, CEO, Stockport Credit Union