On behalf of your volunteer Board of Directors, I want to wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year. After a year like no other, 2021 brings with it opportunities for a fresh start, both personally and financially.
As a member-owner, Tower is your credit union, and we are here for you. We stand ready to help you work toward your financial goals. We remain grateful for the continued trust you have placed in us. We especially appreciate the patience and support you have demonstrated as we continue to navigate these trying times.
I want to assure you that Tower has remained in a very sound financial condition throughout the pandemic. In our sixty plus years of being, we have weathered many difficult and turbulent times, and we will continue to overcome the hurdles placed before us. Although the fallout of COVID-19 on the financial environment has been extremely challenging, Tower experienced positive financial results in 2020 and we continued to provide excellent member value. We remain committed to the standards of strong safety and soundness.
Member value continues to be a major focus for the Board. Did you know that our members earn and save over $33 million more per year by being a member of Tower? It’s true…the average Tower member earns and saves $208 more per year just by banking with us! We call that the Tower Advantage and we are happy to be able to provide such a high level of member value. We offer better rates, less fees and more cash back. If you know someone who is not yet benefitting from Tower membership, I encourage you to share with them the benefits of membership so they can join Tower and reap the advantages too. Visit our new Tower Advantage page to see what other member-only benefits and perks we offer.
After the ups and downs of last year, I’m especially proud to announce that Tower has once again been designated a “great workplace” by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® (GPTW)—for the third year in a row! Tower earned the GPTW credential based on extensive ratings provided by our employees in anonymous surveys. Our employees cited a caring, transparent management team, excellent benefits, flexible schedules and opportunities for advancement amongst the reasons why Tower is a great place to work. One of our highest survey scores centered around Tower’s philanthropic work environment and commitment to giving back to the local community, most notably through the TowerCares Foundation, which helps active military, DOD employees, Veterans and children in need.
2020 definitely had its low points, but there were some bright spots as well. In July, Tower was named a Best-in-State Credit Union by Forbes Magazine, honoring the top 3.5% of credit unions nationwide. Tower was one of only five Maryland credit unions to receive this honor. In August, we were named “Credit Union Partner of the Year” by Frost Financial Services (for the fifth year in a row!). The recognition was due to the continued success of the Tower Car Buying Service, powered by TrueCar. We know it’s more important than ever for our members to be able to buy a car confidently and safely from home.
In October, we relocated our Annapolis branch to a new expanded location with easier access and Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). Video banking technology provides safe, secure transactions, encourages social distancing and reduces face-to-face interactions.
In closing, I ask for your continued patience as we remain on this journey together. We continue to help our members facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you need assistance, please contact us. Our member services call volume remains higher than usual, as we have all shifted to doing much of our business by phone. We are doing everything we can to assist our members, by reallocating Tower staff to answer calls. We also engaged a trusted credit union partner to answer some of the more routine calls and to extend our call center hours so you can reach us after business hours and on weekends. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to limit in-person transactions. As difficult as it has been to reduce the face-to-face experience, it is best for the health and safety of us all. I encourage you to stay connected with your accounts through the convenient online products and services Tower offers: online banking, mobile app, mobile check deposit, Bill Payment and Digital Wallets, just to name a few.
Thank you for your Tower membership and for hanging in there with us during these trying times. Please mark your calendars for Tower’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 at 5:00 p.m. At this time, we anticipate the Annual Meeting will be virtual. Look for more details to come.
Please continue to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe as we all continue to deal with COVID-19. I wish the best for you and your family in 2021, and here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.
Arland A. White Jr.