2020 is coming to a close, and in what’s been a year like no other our CEO Stephen Capello would like to share his thanks and appreciation to Hume Bank customers, staff and our local community.
We have heard many times throughout the past 12 months, 2020 has been a year like no other. There has not been a day without challenges and uncertainty, but this has more than ever showcased the unwavering community spirit that is built within our region. In 2020, we learned how important Hume Bank is to our customers and community as our teams worked to connect with our community, keep our services available and help our customers throughout this difficult time.
Although times were difficult, collectively we have managed to return to a somewhat “new normal”. With predictability no longer certain, at Hume Bank we are taking this opportunity to deliver better value banking for all customers.
During 2020, we remained committed to offering in-branch services for our customers during a period where the resilience of our community was tested with ever-changing border restrictions. We contacted many of our customers to offer alternative ways of banking without the need to leave their home and we placed more staff in our call centre so customers could feel confident they could speak to us when in need. We also accelerated the implementation of digital initiatives to allow our customers further ease of more complex banking with the digitalisation of contract signing and ID verification, meaning customers could apply for loans, sign loan documents and verify themselves online from the safety and comfort of their own homes.
We take our role in supporting our local economy seriously and this year gave us the opportunity to launch our HomeBuilder loan with a commitment of $50 million to help support our local construction industry. In partnership with local builders and with the introduction of government incentives, this meant that we were able to help locals make their dream of owning a home a reality in 2020, employing local trades and builders.
We also recognised that some customers needed additional support during 2020 and we offered relief packages to all customers, which also included the ability to defer loan payments, switch to interest only and avoid fees and charges. Our staff pulled together to call every customer who asked for our help and as we know our customers better than anyone, many more were personally contacted as part of our customer care effort.
The staff at Hume Bank should be proud of what they have achieved in 2020 and the work they continue to do to help customers through these difficult times. We implemented many measures to help protect both staff and customers and I want to personally thank everyone who has stood by us, displaying patience, understanding and support. To Hume Bank staff, board, partners, suppliers and associates, the future is bright and I thank you for your determination and ingenuity and together we will continue to make Hume Bank a resilient, stronger and healthier bank.
I hope that this festive season gives everyone the much-deserved chance to reconnect with family and friends and I look forward to exploring the new opportunities 2021 will bring us.