In a message to the credit union’s nearly 8,000 members, chairman Kevin Fearon said 2020 had been one of the most difficult years in the community bank’s 18-year history.
He said: “Just before the first lockdown in March, we launched our new portfolio of loans and were looking forward to growing our lending business significantly. The pandemic put paid to those ambitions almost overnight leaving us with a shortfall on projected growth.
"Weeks of lockdown also significantly accelerated changes we had started to make long before the pandemic, including becoming cashless and encouraging more members to bank online.
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“The Covid-19 crisis presented the credit union with two major challenges. The first, was to address a projected financial loss. The second was to restructure the team in light of the major shift to online banking.
“To face up to these harsh realities, in early November, the board of directors agreed to a period of consultation with staff on how best to achieve cost savings and to restructure the team to ensure the credit union remains a sustainable business.
“As a result, two part-time and one full-time posts were made redundant.”
Mr Fearon added that the board agreed to this outcome with great sadness, recognising how hard staff have worked to maintain as far as possible business as usual during the pandemic.
“This very difficult decision was made to protect the interests of nearly 8,000 members and the communities of the WV postcode area who depend on the credit union’s unique brand of ethical financial services," he said.
“We know that members will join the board in thanking staff for participating in this very difficult process and for their continued commitment to the credit union. Above all, we wish the very best to the staff who will be leaving us.
“There will be many reasons for wanting to see the back of 2020, probably the most difficult year in all our lives – and certainly in the 18-year history of the credit union.”