Union Bank, a West Coast regional bank, will commit $3 million to support local communities affected by COVID-19. In addition, the bank announced several measures it is taking to lend additional support to clients and colleagues during this global health crisis.
“This is an unprecedented time in our global history, and we will get through it together,” said Greg Seibly, President of Union Bank. “Our Union Bank colleagues have been working tirelessly to deliver essential banking services to our clients and communities to help them navigate the impact COVID-19 is having right now, as well as the lasting impact it will have on our economy.”
For the Community
Working in close collaboration with nonprofit organizations, local government agencies and public-private humanitarian partners, Union Bank will direct $3 million into local communities.
Funds will be allocated to the following causes:
- $1.4 million in support of the small business sector. Funds will be used to support economic development activities that sustain small business operations, particularly in low- and moderate-income communities.
- An additional $1 million has been expedited to support existing small business grants.
- $500,000 for social safety net programs, including regional food banks, that provide health and human services to low- to moderate-income populations.
- $100,000 earmarked for community-based organizations in Canada and Latin America.
The bank is working with Bankers Small Business Community Development Corp. of California, a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) and affiliate of CDC Small Business Finance, to establish a loan program to help alleviate the shortfall in cash flow for small businesses. Capital provided to the CDFI will be offered at a below-market interest rate.
In addition, to further assist long-time community partners and bridge the financial gap during this time of crisis, the bank’s foundation has adjusted its funding criteria to consider grants that help cover operating costs, which it typically doesn’t fund.
“Our charitable legacy has always been anchored on a firmly-held belief that our financial support has the greatest impact when we partner with organizations that can leverage our contributions for sustainable results,” said Julius Robinson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas, MUFG Union Bank. “We are experiencing a health crisis at a scale never before seen in modern times. We consider it an urgent call to action to support our local communities at this critical time.”
Union Bank bankers, tellers and call center colleagues are fully equipped to provide clients with the information they need to navigate these uncharted waters. In addition, the bank has robust business continuity plans in place to provide continued service to its clients. As part of its response efforts, the bank is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for both business and consumer clients. A new COVID-19 Resource Center is now live on unionbank.com and the following support for clients is in place:
- Small Business Lending clients who need assistance on existing small business loans can receive 90 days of payment deferral. During the deferral period, late fees will be reversed and any existing lines of credit will remain open. Small businesses in need of disaster relief funding are asked to visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website at www.sba.gov/disaster for disaster relief options.
- Consumer and Small Business clients who are experiencing hardship can request assistance from overdraft fees, non-sufficient fund fees, monthly service charges and ATM fees. Early withdrawal penalties for CDs will be waived.
- Mortgage or Home Equity clients who are experiencing hardship can defer their loan payments for 90 days with no negative implications to their credit reports or additional fees. The bank will also suspend all foreclosures and evictions until after the crisis ends.
- Credit Card clients may request 90 days of payment deferral with no negative implications to their credit reports. Customers may also seek waivers of late fees.
Union Bank is also providing weekly insights regarding current events and the factors affecting the markets to help its wealth clients navigate the effects of COVID-19 on the capital markets and economy. To learn more about the Private Bank, visit UnionBank.com/ThePrivateBank.
Union Bank Branches
Union Bank branches will remain open with operating hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and are temporarily closed on Saturdays. The bank is limiting the number of clients entering a branch at one time to manage social distancing while still providing ready access to the branch. Union Bank branches located within grocery stores have been temporarily closed due to the challenge of observing social distancing in these locations, and teams have been redeployed to other branches. Clients can visit the bank’s COVID 19 Resource Center for updates on temporary closures as well as ATM locations near them.
Union Bank also offers a number of ways clients can conduct their banking from the comfort of home:
- Online banking at unionbank.com continues to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- The Union Bank mobile app enables clients to manage bill payments and deposit checks.
Union Bank debit and credit cards have contactless payment functionality and work in Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, offering clients another way to pay more safely without contact when they do need to leave home.
Health and safety measures have been instituted throughout the company to protect colleagues and clients.
“We care deeply about the safety of our colleagues, especially those on the front lines in our branches,” Seibly said. “Those who can perform their jobs remotely are now doing so, and we have made changes to our branch operating procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of our bankers as well as for our clients.”
For roles that are required to be in an office or branch to maintain essential bank operations, the bank has taken a number of steps to ensure the safety of its workforce, including social distancing, the elimination of in-person client meetings, staggering staff and shifts, enhanced cleaning, gloves, hand sanitizer and regular hand-washing breaks for all public-facing colleagues.
All branch staff will receive supplemental crisis relief pay of up to $1,000 to assist with unplanned financial burdens associated with COVID-19 for March and April. The bank will evaluate further extensions based on how the situation evolves. Additionally, although branch operating hours have been reduced, the bank will continue to compensate colleagues according to their regularly scheduled hours over the next two months.
The bank has also implemented programs, such as additional time off, to help ensure uninterrupted pay should any Union Bank colleague become ill or must attend to family needs related to COVID-19.
An Employee Relief Fund is also available for colleagues who are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. With initial seed funding of $200,000, the fund allows for colleagues to donate contributions and pool their resources to support one another in their time of need.
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