Status Report on COVID-19
The Premier of our Province has begun to talk about easing COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and individuals. In tandem, DUCA’s Emergency Response Team and Executive Leadership Team are shifting their focus to adjustments and precautions that might need to be worked into DUCA’s future operations. Going forward, we will continue to rely upon provincial guidelines as well as the principles that have guided DUCA throughout this situation: Protecting the health and safety of Employees, Members, and communities; providing uninterrupted essential services; maintaining our Credit Union’s strength and stability; and making sure our actions are timely and decisive.
As we have done since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, we will continue to communicate with you about upcoming changes and developments by email and on our website. Until then, here are the latest highlights of what we’ve been working on in response to the ramifications of COVID-19.
Support for Business
When the federal government announced the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan – a $40,000 loan for small businesses – we provided our Business Members with an easily accessible application process. Working with JUDI.AI, our partner in our automated underwriting platform for small business, we enabled our Business Members to apply for CEBA directly on duca.com here.
Looking ahead to a financial recovery, we are currently in the process of finalizing a special loan for small businesses who need support getting back to business once restrictions are more fully lifted. We’ll be announcing details of that support in the coming days.
Working with our Partners
In addition to JUDI.AI (mentioned above), we’ve collaborated with other external partners in providing extra consideration to Members during these unusual times. For those experiencing financial difficulties as a direct result of COVID-19, Collabria – our partner in personal and business credit cards – announced a number of relief measures for cardholders. These include the option to defer minimum monthly payments, a temporary interest rate reduction to 10.9% for qualifying cardholders, an increase to $250 for contactless transactions at points of sale, and a balance transfer offer of 5.9% for the first six months after the transfer.
Please see Collabria’s announcement regarding these special considerations here. (The FAQ is here.)
Modified Hours of Operation and Out-of-Branch Banking
As announced earlier, we continue to work with somewhat reduced hours of operation so as to minimize possible exposures for both Members and Employees. We recently re-opened our Burlington and Willowdale branches and although the Toronto/CBC branch remains closed to foot traffic (its location is being utilized as a Member Connect satellite call centre), the Toronto/CBC branch team continues to serve its Members over the phone and by email. So, too, our expanded Member Connect team is handling the increased volume to our Call Centre.
In addition, we continue to encourage Members to bank outside of a branch: Online at duca.com, by Smartphone app, or by calling Member Connect at 1.866.900.3822. These out-of-branch methods of everyday banking are very important, particularly for those who must be especially vigilant about possible exposure to COVID-19. If you need assistance setting yourself up for one of these banking methods, please call us at 1.866.900.3822 and we’ll help you over the phone.
We are carefully adhering to the health and public safety protocols that we implemented early on such as work-from-home arrangements and social distancing. At the same time, we look forward to resuming our former schedule of open hours when public health authorities indicate it is time to do so. Visit our Find a Branch page for updates to our hours of operation.
On another note – something that we're pleased has nothing to do with COVID-19 – DUCA just entered its 66th year of operations! Our Digital Annual Report for 2019 was recently posted and you're invited to review it for details of our great financial performance and then consider how far we’ve come since we first opened our doors on May 5, 1954. Read our recent recap here.
Stay tuned for more updates. In the spirit of DUCA’s founders who, despite their new immigrant challenges 66 years ago, showed strength and vision when they created this institution to serve their financial needs, we wish all our Members and friends good health, fortitude, and a positive attitude.