“Flexibility” seemed to be the buzzword during a conference call Tuesday between credit union and banking leaders who were invited to discuss current economic conditions as a result of impacts of the coronavirus with Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents the 23rd District. A number of credit union leaders and staff from the New York Credit Union Association participated in the call.
Saying that the current economic conditions are the fault of no one except “Mother Nature throwing us a curveball,” Reed said that as “we deal with the drop of revenue, we ask that you use whatever flexibility is at your discretion” to help individuals and small businesses so they have reason to “survive.”
The key is keeping liquidity in the system and “money in folks’ coffers,” he said, saying that with so many individuals losing their jobs and unable to pay mortgages and other loans, financial institutions should be flexible — as well as creative and willing to work with members and customers to find solutions.
As long as financial institutions are acting in good faith and being prudent, they should have the flexibility to help customers and members the way they see best fit, he reiterated.
“If you are acting in good faith and you have a paper trail … you should be ok,” Reed said. “That being said, that is a very gray area. We have to do it case-by-case to proceed, but if you adopt that policy you should be ok.”
Reed also praised credit union and banking leaders, saying he and other legislators look to them as “the experts on the front line.”