Goodbye to 2020! While there were positive achievements, it brought us plenty of headaches. We only hope that 2021 is a better year.
Positive events in 2020 included Colorado banks’ phenomenal performance in the PPP program, lending $10.4B to 110,000 Colorado businesses — most of it done in about 10 days in April. You found ways to work through the COVID restrictions to serve your customers well under ever-evolving rules. We all found efficient and workable ways to communicate — like Zoom, although we’re sick of it. We successfully advocated for de minimis forgiveness of PPP debt for small borrowers, and we were able to postpone issues like TDR and CECL. CBA’s output went up tenfold in March-May, and we had numerous meetings with members of Congress and regulators because that’s what banks needed.
Of course, we’re delighted with the January 2020 announcement of CBA’s succession plan as Jenifer Waller became CBA President Jan. 1, 2020, with me being CEO through 2022 and Jenifer becoming president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2023. We also take great pride in the tremendous energy and focus and the results produced by our hard-working team of Jenifer, Amanda, Lindsay and Brandon. And we very much thank our board and Government Affairs Committee for excellent guidance, and especially Nathan Ewert, Mike Brown, Mark Hall and Joanne Sherwood. CBA is well positioned for the future.
2020 frustrations we hopefully can put behind us include COVID itself, ranging from the March 23 start of social distancing and restricted access to brain-tickling COVID tests. We endured chaos as SBA/Treasury frequently changed rules for PPP. We fear a repeat of that turmoil with the new PPP adopted days ago by Congress. Amid COVID restrictions that closed or limited branches, banks successfully processed voluminous ACH payments and checks for stimulus payments to many Americans, and we’re gearing up for a repeat of that challenge later this month. Bankers’ meetings and conferences were canceled in huge numbers, and Zoom often replaced those. CBA had used Zoom for years, allowing us to operate smoothly as we transitioned webinars, our annual meeting, conferences, CBA’s Washington Visit and our Advocacy program to remote sessions.
The legislature got a Supreme Court decision allowing it to recess until later in the year. That, coupled with social distancing and remote access, made lobbying for you a whole new challenge for CBA, but we prevailed on banking issues. Thankfully, we all survived the ordeal as American politics and civil conduct were put to an extreme stress test. Colorado’s liberal use of ballot initiatives brought big challenges this year with paid family medical leave, among others.
Delays and complications hampered progress in CBA’s drive for new efficiencies from a multistate cooperative effort for bankers associations by our partner, the Common Sense Institute’s analysis of public policy options and in canceled sessions of graduate banking schools.
In 2021, we will adjust as needed to continued COVID complications, as we hope the vaccines work and return us to “normal” whenever and wherever we can. Thank you for all you do for your customers, communities and industry. There are many things for which we are thankful. No matter what happens next, CBA is here to help in every way we can.
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COLORADO BANKERS ASSOCIATION