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The responsibility of being a socially responsible bank

This month we turned 97 years old so we’ve seen our share of up and down times. We’ve navigated through depressions, recessions, world wars, bubbles, artificial highs and some very real lows. But we have never before seen anything like the present.  The COVID-19 virus is having a far-reaching effect, not just on our business, but on our families, our communities and our nation’s financial future.

Photo of Keith Mestrich

President & CEO

Although we have activated our Pandemic Response and Business Continuity Plans, we are also making many decisions in real time. So we want to use this forum to keep you updated on a consistent basis.

As an “essential service”, our bank feels a unique obligation to our customers and to our country to be as accessible and as accommodating as we possibly can.  But we also want to ensure that all our employees are safe and taken care of. We want to offer our customers financial assistance where we can and to use our resources and clout to become an active participant in the relief and recovery efforts.

To that end, we have implemented some new policies, programs and initiatives:

  • Employee Health and Well-being: Keeping our employees safe and healthy is our paramount concern. More than 92% of all employees are currently in a work-from-home status. Like other companies, Amalgamated has enacted a strict ban on all business travel.  We are also ensuring that our employees will be paid and continue to have the health benefits they need. This includes paid sick leave and access to an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Branches: All but two branches are closed in NYC, with the open locations, Union Square and Co-Op City (both open Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM), practicing social distancing. The Washington DC branch is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM until Friday, April 3. Beginning the week of April 6, it will only be open on Wednesdays from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. The San Francisco branch is closed until further notice. We are in the process of retraining our personnel so that they can proactively reach out to customers to help them during this time.
  • Customer Communications: All customers have been notified of our COVID-19 response. The Bank has built a priority communication hub for all clients to provide up-to-date information and resources.
  • Online & Mobile Banking1: All customers have been encouraged to continue conducting their business online and to reach out to the customer care team with questions.
  • Consumer and Mortgage Customer Support*:  In line with government guidelines, our plan is to
    • Waive Certificate of Deposit (CD) Early Withdrawal Penalties2
    • Waive overdraft item paid — fee charged for paid item against insufficient or uncollected funds** (not applicable to Online Checking account), $34.00
    • Waive insufficient funds fee (NSF) — returned item fee charged for insufficient or uncollected funds**,  $34.00†3NSF fees
    • Provide a 90 day foreclosure moratorium and payment deferrals for those in need
  • We are working with existing clients in the nonprofit, union, philanthropy, and social impact segments to determine their credit needs and to provide assistance where we can.
  • Philanthropic Giving: We’re continuing and expanding the charitable giving of the Amalgamated Foundation.  We are also hoping to launch a rapid response fund that directly addresses the economic crisis facing those workers who are struggling during this time.

As this list continues to expand, I will update this note accordingly. Please stay safe and do not hesitate to reach out to our Customer Care Center, call 888-925-7556 for loan servicing assistance, or contact your relationship manager.

Sincerely,

 

Keith Mestrich
President and CEO
Amalgamated Bank

 

 


* Effective for 90 days beginning March 23rd.

** The fee applies to a maximum of five (5) items (paid or returned) per day, per account.

$25.00 for accounts opened in the San Francisco office.

1 Your mobile carrier’s message and data rates may apply.

2 CD Early Withdrawal Penalties cannot be waived for CDs that are withdrawn less than seven (7) days after opening of such CD.

3 $10.00 fee for the checking product named “Online Checking.”