The following message was shared with media statewide.
By William J. Mellin, President/CEO
While many industries and organizations have shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, New York’s credit unions remain open, ready and able to serve the state’s consumers.
Financial services were deemed “essential services” exempt from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandatory workplace staffing reduction levels. As a result, many of the state’s credit unions have found creative ways — like expanding drive-thru banking services, appointment-only branch hours or the use of interactive teller machines — to continue to keep their branches open and ensure their members can easily access their funds, manage their assets and perform other critical banking services.
Credit unions, which are member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperatives, were founded over 100 years ago to provide the underserved and marginalized with a safe and affordable alternative to the for-profit banking system. Credit unions have served U.S. consumers through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and multiple economic downturns and crises. Today, credit unions are a critical part of the modern mainstream financial system and uniquely positioned to help consumers navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
With the state’s credit unions remaining open, the credit union movement is assuring New Yorkers: credit unions will work to the best of their ability with members facing financial hardship; their money is safe and federally insured; and credit unions will play a key role in helping the state and communities recover from the pandemic’s fallout.
The credit union movement was here for New Yorkers 100 years ago, and we’re still here for them today. I am simply reiterating what those of us in this industry have long known: Credit unions are a strong, stable and sound financial partner for New Yorkers of all walks of life — in good times and bad.
We all hope our society will be able to return to some sense of normalcy sooner rather than later. But regardless of the circumstances, New York’s credit unions are here to help.