Business View Magazine | August 2020

129 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE AUGUST 2020 SCOTT CREDI T UNION we should give our members credit that they would be responsible. No one else would lend them money, and we needed to be there for them. That was really the mindset – how we take care of our members during very difficult economic times. Fortunately, it worked out very well for us.” Now, that COVID-19 has thrown the economy into turmoil again, SCU is facing new challenges. Like many companies, they were already looking at different options for employees to work remotely, but when the pandemic started they had to quickly adapt. “We knew members would be a lot more forgiving and understand that we’re all in this together,” says Padak. “That it won’t be perfect but we’re trying to do the right thing for our employees and our members. So, in about two weeks, we were able to go from none of our 300 employees working from home to about 165 working remotely. Along with that comes the economic challenge and the quick reduction in interest rates, which is a significant negative impact for financial institutions because margins shrink even further. Trying to make money in this environment is a lot different than under a normal interest rate environment.” With so many people out of work, the concerns are similar to 2008/09 about whether people can make their payments. SCU did loan extensions, loan modifications to help members out for three to six months, hoping that the crisis would be over by then. But now that the respite period is over, if people can’t make payments in August and September, some loans will go delinquent and Padak acknowledges that the credit union will start to see if its loan loss reserve is sufficient based on the estimates made. In more positive news, Scott Credit Union opened a new branch in Ballpark Village in July. Prior to the pandemic, they acquired several previous bank branches which were priced too good to pass up and negotiated a lease in Ballpark Village. According to Padak, “We wanted to grow in St. Louis, in particular, and we now have four