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From the CEO
August 31, 2020

Dear Members:

As a I take a moment to provide a brief mid-year update, I can’t help but think about how no one could have predicted at the beginning of 2020 that this is how the year would turn out so far. From a leadership perspective, Corporate One has been focused on two main areas since the start of this pandemic situation: keeping our staff as healthy and protected as possible while simultaneously ensuring our members have uninterrupted service. To succeed in the first area, we activated a key component of our Pandemic Plan back in March, which dispersed our staff away from our corporate offices to work remotely. The transition was successful not only from a health and safety perspective but also from an operational perspective; we continue to serve our members without any disruption in services. We know many of you are working hard to provide the same level of service to your own members and that this challenge may continue for a while. Please know we are here to help should your credit union face any sort of obstacle.

Although we could never have predicted a pandemic and the devastating impact on the economy as a result of government shutdowns, we had planned for an economic slowdown in 2020. In preparation for the possibility of a recession, we rotated our investment portfolio into more government guaranteed securities and have remained well diversified, investing in very high-quality assets. I am pleased to report that our balance sheet and capital levels remain strong and we have successfully managed an influx of over $2.5 billion in member deposits onto our balance sheet as a result of the economic fallout from the pandemic and government stimulus. We made an investment into the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) of over $44 million to ensure that all of our members with $250 million in assets or less had access to this backstop liquidity source. Also, despite low interest rates we still had strong earnings and better-than-expected performance through May 31, which resulted in an extra bonus dividend that brought total Perpetual Contributed Capital (PCC) dividends paid to a 2% annualized return for the first half of 2020. For a more detailed look at Corporate One’s performance during the second quarter of 2020, feel free to review our most recent financial statement.

Even with all of the uncertainties and adjustments we’ve had to make, I am very proud of our team members and their dedication to move forward with our primary strategic priorities, developing tailored solutions to help credit unions remain relevant and competitive in our industry. The following are just a few recent examples:

  • You may recall that back in February, our CUSO Sherpa Technologies launched Payigy (Pā\ĭ\jēē), the first digital payments solution developed as a result of Sherpa’s Innovation Council collaboration.
  • In May, we announced that both Corporate One and Sherpa achieved two important milestones in our respective strategic initiatives on faster payments, achievements that help us continue our leadership and expertise in the evolving payments landscape and enable us to introduce new products and services to meet our members’ real-time payment needs.
  • As an example of our response to the economic situation, our commercial lending CUSO, Lucro, adapted their online loan application portal in just a few short days in June to include PPP loans. This quick pivot streamlined the application process and led to more than 3,000 loans exceeding $130 million for 28 credit unions (as of June 30).
  • In July, we announced our new partnership and exclusive corporate credit union agreement with Access Softek, Inc. to offer EasyVest, a robo-advisor investment solution that seamlessly integrates with credit unions’ online and mobile banking platforms and offers convenient, easy entry into investing for a credit union’s members.

It’s an ongoing priority to understand and meet the diverse needs of our membership during these challenging times, and helping our members succeed is always top of mind. As our traditional, in-person events have been suspended or put on hold, I miss interacting with our members and personally learning what’s going on at each of your credit unions. I'd be interested in hearing any success stories you've had and/or how you’re meeting the challenge of serving your own members right now. Please feel free to contact me directly at 614/825-9300 or at mashley@corporateone.coop. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Melissa Ashley
President/CEO