A Message from our CEO Steve Andrews
A full year has passed since COVID-19 altered the way we live and work, and while the pandemic is still front and center in our lives and businesses, we have much to be hopeful for. According to the New York Times, more than 70 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of March 15th a critical step to reducing the number of new COVID-19 transmissions. Things are beginning to look up.
Our industry has not missed a beat during this pandemic. We have innovated, advocated and delivered for our clients, and the focus on serving clients, has never wavered. A recent survey, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Bankers Association, found that Americans remain highly satisfied with their bank and value the banks’ support during this pandemic. In fact, nine out of 10 account holders are very satisfied or satisfied with their primary bank and 96 percent rate their bank’s customer service as excellent, very good or good. Also encouraging is that eight out of 10 U.S. adults said banks are important to our nation’s economic recovery.
Banks continue to facilitate Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and are advocating to extend the application deadline to ensure that businesses in need have an opportunity to participate. In only two months, banks in the WBA footprint have facilitated more than 257,000 loans with a value of $23 billion to help local businesses keep their doors open and employees on the payroll.
As part of our mission to provide education and professional development, we are looking forward to the virtual Women in Banking Forum on April 6-8. This three-day event brings together women in the banking industry for education, connection and empowerment. The speaker line-up includes TEDx Speaker and Developer Advocate Sydney Lai and Olympic Gold Medalist Summer Sanders as our keynote speakers, Teresa Bryce Bazemore, President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and more than 20 dynamic speakers who will present on timely and relevant industry topics, including the economy, regulatory and legislative updates, leadership, gender diversity, and much more. We are encouraged that nearly 300 women have already registered for this event and hope that you will encourage your co-workers and peers to join us.
We are also happy to share that we welcomed several new members to the association this year, including three banks. Our newest members are featured in the magazine and I hope you will help us welcome them.
As always, we are grateful for your membership and support. Our team is dedicated to serving this industry and we are grateful for the trust you have given us.