Chat highlights challenges and ‘unknowns’ of virus threat

CUNA Finance Council participants are working out what-if scenarios.

April 3, 2020

Finance professionals weighed in on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat is affecting credit union balance sheets during a CUNA Finance Council chat on Friday.

Topics discussed included employee issues such as pay, scheduling and furloughs, member relief, and budget projections.

Many participants said their credit unions continue to pay employees who are not working their full shifts.

“We continue to pay all staff, but we have a 50% rotation, so we are paying people to stay home,” one participant wrote. “Only a few people are set up to work from home.”

Another offered: “We are still paying everyone. Some are out on administrative leave if forced to quarantine.”

Another participant said back-office employees are working remotely, while branches are fully staffed, serving members by appointment with phone calls being redirected from the call center to branches. “Employees who are required to report to a branch for any reason are receiving hazard pay,” the participant wrote.

Nearly all participants said their credit unions weren’t considering furloughing their employees at this time.

When asked how they are tracking payroll and staff changes, many said they have created new codes or are working with the payroll provider to track changes.

“We set up new payroll codes for anyone affected by the virus, or if they are home with children per the FMLA extension,” one participant wrote.

Another added: “Our people are currently being paid 100% regardless of remote work or rotational work. All communications or tracking is being kept in a pandemic folder for examiners or auditors.”

Many participants said their credit unions were offering loan modifications.

Among those shared by participants:

  • “We are allowing 1 to 2 deferments as we get requests.”
  • “30-day skip-a-pays can extend to 90.”
  • “90 days, no pay; skip-a-pay for 2 or 3 months on consumer loans.”
  • “We are going to offer a 6-month deferment on mortage loans, requiring a 0% loan to be taken out that will make the scheduled payments.”
  • “Emergency loan at lower rates up to $5,000 with no payment for first 90 days.”

Participants said they are projecting significant increases in delinquencies and charge-offs moving forward in 2020.

“Our examiner says to expect 20% delinquencies,” one participant wrote.

“About 20% increase in provisional expense for March,” another offered.

“Reportable delinquency is still around our normal average, but we're watching what may be upcoming,” one participant wrote. “For March, we're seeing a 25% increase in the number and dollar amount that have moved into the 25- to 59-day delinquency range.”

Participants said they had not updated their budgets yet because it was too early to determine outcomes from the pandemic.

“No budget updates as of yet,” one participant wrote. “Just too many unknowns about length and magnitude.”

Another wrote: “We are not updating our budget, but we are trying to lower as many expenses as we can.”

CUNA Council members have been joining together for unique, live chat events to discuss ideas and responses to the current coronavirus situation. Topics are gathered from discussions in the Councils Community and members are encouraged to provide topics or questions upon registration. Council members can register for upcoming sessions, and receive chat transcripts and slides if they are unable to attend live.

Read about more CUNA Councils chats here.