By Harald Borrmann
President and Chair
March 16th, 2020
We are going through an extraordinary time with the COVID-19 outbreak and unrest in the financial markets. During this period of uncertainty, I want to assure you that our Association remains strong and capable. While things are evolving on an almost hourly basis, and it is impossible to accurately predict the future, you should remain confident that our organization is well prepared to deal with both the concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as well as able to withstand the financial market turmoil we are seeing and reading about.
With regard to the COVID-19, we have already enacted a number of risk management measures related to our Business Continuity Plan which will enable us to continue to serve you – our members – while also protecting our employees. Additional measures are being implemented as needed and as warranted by changing circumstances. These measures are being rolled out in steps and will in most cases be transparent to you while, in some cases, we may be slightly delayed in responding to your requests for service.
Rest assured, we are making every effort to continue to treat you with the level of service and professionalism you have come to expect. While we are making some changes in how we operate our business in order to keep our employees safe, we are not “shutting down” our company. For now, our office hours remain the same, although we would urge our members to call or email us with questions rather than stopping by our office. We love seeing you, but these are unusual times! Having in place a prudent and well thought-out Business Continuity Plan allows us to safely operate in difficult circumstances.
The financial market challenges we are experiencing are real. Yet at Catholic United, our commitment to investing in safe, secure, long-term, conservative investments is once again paying off in times of economic stress. Just as we successfully weathered the many economic crises in past years (the Great Recession of 2008/09, the post-9/11 period, the dot.com bubble, two World Wars, the Great Depression, etc.) so too, we will withstand the current financial situation and maintain a strong and healthy Association. We have less than one percent of our assets invested in the stock market, so we are well insulated from those fluctuations. We have never traded in high-yield bonds or taken inordinate risks.
Our portfolio of bonds is conservative, diversified and represents stable issuers. We “buy and hold” investments for the long term and do not engage in day trading which could be very risky in these circumstances. In addition, we have sizable reserves established to protect our balance sheet, and therefore your investments with us, against just this type of market.
To stay current on your Catholic United products, you can view your account at https://my.catholicunitedfinancial.org. To stay current on news and updates from Catholic United visit www.catholicunitedfinancial.org/blog.
We will continue to keep you informed as this situation unfolds. But for now, please rest easy knowing that Catholic United remains strong, committed to our members and our employees, and is there for the long run.
May God bless you all.
President and CEO