FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” today announced a comprehensive effort to help those impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, including the launch of its customer assistance program, increased compensation for on-site employees, and continued support of Arizona Gives Day and its newly created Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund.
“We recognize that the global spread of coronavirus has serious financial implications for millions of families,” said FirstBank CEO Jim Reuter. “We want to do what we can to ensure our customers, communities and employees have the resources needed to get through these challenging times.”
To date, FirstBank’s efforts for qualified individuals include:
Loan Relief Programs
- Consumer Loan Deferrals: FirstBank is giving consumer borrowers who are directly or indirectly impacted by the coronavirus the ability to defer up to three payments on residential mortgage loans, home equity installment loans, and consumer installment loans. Customers can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 1-833-962-1506 to discuss their mortgage, home equity or personal loan.
- Business and Commercial Loan Support: FirstBank is also committed to helping business customers who are experiencing financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. Commercial borrowers may have the ability to defer up to three payments. To discuss an existing commercial loan, borrowers should contact their FirstBank loan officer or the bank’s main customer service department at 1-800-964-3444 (option 0) to inquire about available assistance.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program: As a preferred SBA lender, FirstBank is enabling its business depositors and borrowers to apply for Paycheck Protection. The program is designed to not only help businesses keep or re-hire employees, but pay loan interest, rent, and utilities. The loan is also eligible for forgiveness by the SBA. More information and how to apply is available on FirstBank’s website by clicking on the “Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program” banner. Customers can also reach out to their FirstBank loan officer to learn more.
Other Customer Assistance
Additionally, FirstBank is extending financial flexibility to customers, who are taking unpaid time off due to quarantine and whose employer does not offer paid leave in these circumstances. Examples of these initiatives include:
- Fee Refunds: Fees such as Non-Sufficient Fund (NSF) fees, Visa card fees and early withdrawal penalties will be waived or refunded for impacted customers. If related to their quarantine situation, customers may also be able to avoid transactional fees for bank offerings such as wires, cashier’s checks or money orders.
- Zero Percent Interest Rates*: FirstBank will reduce rates on credit cards and cash reserves for a one-month period, as long as you contact us prior to April 15th, 2020 to request the lowered rate. At the end of the one-month period, interest rates will return to FirstBank’s standard rate in effect at that time. Impacted customers, who do not currently have a credit card or cash reserve, can apply and will be provided the same offer, provided they meet the bank’s credit requirements.
Employee Health and Safety
FirstBank is taking necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers. For instance, the majority of FirstBank locations are accessible via drive-up or by appointment only, while other branches have been temporarily closed. An up-to-date list of active locations can be found on FirstBank’s branch status page.
It also expanded its remote working capabilities and is following strict adherence to all cleaning procedures and social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Additionally, FirstBank has:
- Increased pay for on-site employees, providing an additional $2 per hour for all hourly employees who are needed at branch locations or in office to support customer volume.
- Instituted an emergency sick leave policy, where employees experiencing symptoms or in quarantine can receive two additional weeks of paid leave. The new policy also covers parents who are unable to work or telework due to school or daycare closures. The bank is committed to working with employees should they need more time off for recovery or quarantine.
As the presenting sponsor of Arizona Gives Day, FirstBank worked with the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits to promote and fundraise for Arizona’s Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund. The Fund was established to support nonprofits that may experience a drop in revenue due to canceled events and programming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an unprecedented time with unknown economic consequences. Estimates indicate that some nonprofit organizations can lose on average 25% in revenue,” said Bryce Lloyd, Market President for FirstBank. “We thank all the Arizonans who made a donation to their favorite cause and the Emergency Relief Fund to help our nonprofit community during this difficult time.”
In 2013, FirstBank helped create Arizona Gives Day in partnership with the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and has provided consistent support to the campaign for the last eight years. As part of its participation in Arizona Gives Day, FirstBank assists with promoting the campaign as well as providing financial contributions and incentives to participating nonprofits.
FirstBank also indicated that it is in a strong financial position to not only bolster community support, but weather the economic implications brought on by the virus. “We have always prioritized long-term stability and smart, conservative lending over quick gains,” added Reuter. “That approach has helped us come out of several economic downturns stronger than before. We’re confident that will be the case this time around.”
FirstBank will continue to adhere to state and CDC guidelines, and make adjustments to its operations, employee policy, and customer assistance program as needed.
- To learn more or to stay up-to-date on the bank’s response to COVID-19, visit: https://efirstbankblog.com/coronavirus/.
- To see real-time updates on open and temporarily closed locations, go to FirstBank’s branch status page at https://status.fbbranchstatus.com/.
*Interest rate accommodations will be offered to impacted customers who contact the bank prior to April 15, 2020. New customers will need to open a deposit account in order to access a cash reserve line of credit. A minimum monthly payment on both credit cards and cash reserves will still be required, but it will be allocated entirely to the principal amount as no interest will be charged.
FirstBank began providing banking services in Colorado in 1963. Today, the bank maintains more than $19 billion in assets and operates more than 115 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona and California. FirstBank offers a variety of checking accounts, savings accounts, home equity loans, mortgages, and a full range of commercial banking services, including financing, treasury management and deposit accounts. Since 2000, FirstBank has been recognized as a leader in corporate philanthropy, contributing more than $65 million and thousands of volunteer hours to charitable organizations. The company is also unique in that a large portion of its stock is owned by management and employees, giving all employees a financial stake in the bank’s success through its Employee Stock Ownership Program.