CCUA Hosts Webinar Focusing on Credit Union Contingency Planning for COVID-19

CCUA's webinar hosts Walt Laskos (left) and Ron McLean led a panel of experts through the hour-long discusssion.

CCUA's webinar hosts Walt Laskos (left) and Ron McLean led a panel of experts through the hour-long discusssion.


More than 200 registered attendees from 90 credit unions and partner organizations tuned in yesterday as the Cooperative Credit Union Association presented a webinar to address concerns about the growing Coronavirus (COVID-19). Spearheaded by CCUA President/CEO Ron McLean, the webinar provided a wealth of information and updates for the credit union community from a panel of experts. The webinar, moderated by Walt Laskos, CCUA’s SVP Strategic Communications, was recorded and included insights and comments from:

Medical and Health Benefits

Mike McKenna, Comprehensive Benefits Administrators, an Alera Group Company

Doctor Nicholas Argy, MD, JD

Human Resources

Mark Adams, Employers Association of the Northeast

Business Continuity

Rob Sarno, Agility Recovery Solutions

Information Technology

Jeff Beard, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, iuvo Technologies

CCUA-Member Credit Unions

Jenaye Simon, VP Operational Risk, Greylock Federal Credit Union

Tyler Phil, VP Internal Audit, Service Credit Union

CCUA President/CEO Ron McLean opened the conversation, noting that the health and safety of employees and members is the utmost priority. He assured participants that the CCUA has been closely monitoring the latest updates from local, state and federal agencies and adjusting plans as necessary; and reminded all of the Coronavirus Resource page available on the CCUA Website.

To address both member and employee concerns, the experts all agreed that credit unions should review and update pandemic policies and procedures, and that communication was key to allaying concerns. Dr. Argy asserted that education about the virus, especially how it is transmitted, is paramount. He noted that COVID-19 is very different from the influenza viruses that we typically see: there is NO vaccine or prescribed course of treatment currently available, we don’t know if it is seasonal, and the potential for healthcare resources to be overwhelmed as transmission spreads is exponentially higher. He noted the course of action taken in China, to physically quarantine exposed people, “would not fly in the United States,” and that “Although ‘self-quarantine’ of exposed people is being promoted, enforcement would be difficult, at best.”  

As credit unions weigh the information and make decisions about travel, meetings, and sick time for employees, they are also considering the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to efficiently, effectively, and safely serve their members. Options discussed, which included closing branches, consolidating operations, promoting online transactions, and having employees work remotely, raised questions about logistical and technological capabilities. It was stressed that credit unions should ‘prepare for the worst – and the least.’ The technological industry is beginning to suffer from shortages of the very equipment needed to implement a remote workforce, forcing credit unions to assess their needs and react quickly.

True to their nature, credit unions are also showing concerns for the communities they serve, with policies and procedures being reviewed and adjusted and special products and services implemented to help members affected and impacted directly and indirectly by COVID-19, including healthcare workers and families. Many credit unions are also reaching out to fellow credit unions in the cooperative spirit, providing additional resources and assistance.

As the hour drew to a close, Laskos announced that a short survey would be sent to participants to collect, aggregate and communicate member strategies and tactics to combat the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. In addition, he noted that answers to questions that were not directly addressed during the webinar will be made available on the Coronavirus Resource page. Please note that logging through the member portal will allow access to exclusive, member-only content.


Ron McLean (left) and Walt Laskos Additional Resources Available

Informative flyers/posters for credit unions to provide members that explain what COVID-19 is, how it spreads, how they can protect themselves, and how they can manage finances during this time. These flyers/posters, which can be customized to include your credit union logo, are available AT NO CHARGE by downloading from HERE.

Flyers/posters that provide basic healthcare precautions are available to download, also AT NO CHARGE, from the CCUA Coronavirus Resource page

Pictured left: Ron McLean (left) and Walt Laskos