Supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic – A message from Steven Ranson President and CEO
Table of Contents
In my 20 years leading this company, I never imagined having to write a letter like this.
You’re likely reading it at home right now as millions of Canadians are self-isolating to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. I’d like to thank you for doing just that. Heeding the advice of public health officials is something every one of us must do if we are to get through this and help stop the transmission of the coronavirus.
As we get on with our daily lives during this unprecedented global crisis, I want to take a moment to reassure our customers, partners and employees that their health and safety are our top priority and that we’ve taken all necessary precautions to make sure they’re safe. At the same time, we are standing up for our customers and continuing to serve their needs to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable retirement in their homes, even at this difficult time.
What does doing everything you can actually look like in practice? We’ve enacted our comprehensive business continuity plan. We’ve mandated our employees to work from home. We have restricted all in-person meetings until further notice, and are using technology to best serve our clients remotely. I also want to take this opportunity to commend the efforts of our employees and partners who have done a brilliant job navigating this new way of life. I can’t thank you enough for your tireless efforts in making this transition as smooth as possible. As I’ve said before, it is not business as usual, but I can assure our customers we are doing everything we can to make sure they are supported.
I share the concerns many Canadians have about the negative and in many cases destructive impact this situation is having on personal finances. For retired homeowners on a fixed income, there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about whether they’ll be able to continue to afford the home they’re living in. And for older Canadians who are still employed, the news of government-mandated office closures and widespread layoffs is likely keeping them up at night.
The government and the banking industry alike are aware of this justified anxiety, and have since announced a number of plans to provide financial support. For example, the income tax filing deadline has been extended to June 1, and the banks are now offering deferrals on various loan and mortgage payments. As a bank that has been providing CHIP Reverse Mortgage for more than 30 years, we know exactly how much relief this can provide.
Allow me to say it again: we are doing, and we will continue to do, everything we can to help ensure our customers can maintain their financial security in retirement. That is our promise, and we have every intention of living up to it despite this pandemic.
Last but certainly not least, I want to close with a special thank you to all the front-line workers and first responders across Canada. Whether you work in a grocery store or in a hospital, your selflessness in service to others is a true inspiration to all of us. We owe each of you a debt of gratitude for your brave contributions in helping all of us weather this storm.