What a year 2020 was. When the year began it looked bright for the economy. Then things were turned upside down by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Nothing remained normal as many workers lost jobs, parts of the economy were locked down, and interest rates were slashed by Federal Reserve action. Words like "Self Quarantining" and "Social Distancing" became part of our regular vocabulary. Since the vaccine was introduced we are optimistic that in 2021 life will start to return to normal. Community's priorities are noted below.
The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. Please limit visits to our office for situations that require in-person meetings. If you visit the bank a face covering is required. If you cannot wear one, contact us so accommodations can be made. Everyone must remain six feet apart whenever possible. We have installed "sneeze guards" to separate our customers and staff and hand sanitizer is available throughout the office. Our cleaning staff also performs extra surface cleaning daily.
Another priority is to connect customers with their accounts in safe, efficient and affordable ways. Community is open during regular office hours, but follows many safeguards. Our Drive-thru Lobby is also open from 8:00-9:00 am for seniors and others at risk. Community's online, mobile and phone banking are available to manage your accounts remotely. Zelle® and External Transfer were both introduced in 2020 and allow customers to easily transfer funds without visiting the bank.
Interest rates remain competitive on all Community accounts even though the Federal Reserve significantly reduced rates last year. We continue to follow the Golden Rule established by Community's founder: "The safety and protection of our members' funds is always our most important consideration." Additionally, deposits are insured by the FDIC according to its rules and regulations, providing an extra layer of protection.
In spite of the economic problems caused by COVID-19, today's low interest rates make it a good time to consider purchasing or refinancing a home. Community has funds to lend. Additional advantages of borrowing from Community include the facts that all loan decisions are made here and Community owns and services all loans it has made until they are paid in full.
Community remains an independent, mutually owned, locally managed financial institution. If you bank with us, thank you for your patronage. If you don't already bank here, we invite you to give us a try. We would look forward to serving as Your Personal Neighborhood Bank. Best wishes for a safe and healthy 2021.
Dane H. Cleven, Community Savings Bank, Chicago