BCU Rises To Challenge

Committing Over $9.5 Million of Relief in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
April 13, 2020

In the most challenging of times, BCU has carved a long-standing reputation for being an exemplary leader in the Credit Union industry, and never failing to show its Here Today For Your Tomorrow promise is more than just a tagline.

Employees, members, Company Partners, and local communities: The list reads as a familiar roll call of the Credit Union’s highest priorities, working tirelessly to support each without pause.

BCU employees are serving members safely from their homes, and the Credit Union’s operations continue without interruption. Small teams continue to support critical Branch access wherever it is safe to do so, and Contact Center assistance remains available 24/7. New digital initiatives have been stood-up quickly to assist in member service delivery. Behind the scenes, the Credit Union is also quietly helping its communities through charitable support, donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and providing meals to families in need. In a situation unlike anything the country has seen before, BCU has shown itself to once again rise to the challenge, committing over $9.5 million of relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 30 days.


“As an essential business, there is no greater priority than protecting the health and safety of our employees,” said BCU President & CEO Mike Valentine. “This means doing everything necessary to ensure BCU employees are healthy, and well-equipped to continue serving our members from the safety of their homes.”

Taking quick action, BCU teams stood-up the Credit Union into a remote operation of more than 650 employees in just days, expediting the distribution of new equipment, new technology, and a new normal.

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One constant for Credit Union employees: BCU’s commitment to protecting jobs and pay. The Credit Union has maintained its full work-force and even continues to hire. For the many BCU employees balancing job responsibilities along with their roles as caregivers and teachers in the home, the Credit Union is supporting “shoulder hours” to give its remote workers the flexibility to successfully manage both.

employees working from home


As several states announced Shelter in Place orders amidst the growing health crisis, concerns turned to loss of jobs and income for many American families. With its workforce now executing full Credit Union operations remotely, BCU teams had never been more prepared and more committed to serving members through the difficult time

Within days, the Credit Union had activated its emergency financial relief protocol, as it has done many times before, providing members with immediate financial relief through emergency loan assistance, loan payment deferral, and waiving fees.

In areas where it remains responsibly necessary to extend the closure of some Branch locations temporarily, the Credit Union continues to serve members without interruption through its secure and convenient Digital Banking tools, extensive ATM network, and assistance provided by its Contact Center teams.

Understanding the need for increased member support in the weeks ahead, the Credit Union worked swiftly to stand-up digital tools and resources, including a dedicated COVID-19 Relief online resource portal that provides real time information about account access, available relief, and financial well-being resources. COVID-specific information was added to BCU Assist SMS, AI web chat was launched, and the culmination of year-long project to introduce an advanced knowledgebase SEARCH feature was successfully completed.

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The Credit Union is working equally hard to take care of its communities, donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in local Northern Illinois hospitals and support families impacted by school closures and financial hardships through Feeding America. To date, the Credit Union has provided more than 30,000 meals to food banks within its largest member communities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern IL Food Bank, Second Harvest Heartland in Minnesota, Banco Alimentos de Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.


Even in these most unprecedented and challenging times, the Credit Union’s financial health and net promoter (NPS) scores remain strong – and the internal culture is even stronger.

“The Credit Union has faced many challenges in our near forty-year history, and we have always come back stronger than we were before. This time will be no different,” said Valentine. “I couldn’t be more proud or more grateful for everything that our BCU family has done, and will continue to do, to empower our members’ financial freedom when it matters most.”

Learn more at BCU.org/COVID19.

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