The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted our way of life. The impact of this contagious virus can be felt through all aspects of our daily living. The public health crisis is of the utmost importance right now, there is no disputing that fact. But as our medical and scientific communities continue to develop therapies, vaccines, and public health solutions to combat the virus going forward, there comes a time to reflect on how the pandemic is impacting different segments of our lives and our economy.
Community Lenders Working Remotely
One area to examine is the increase in professionals working from home. This approach is common in many industries and professions but is still relatively new in many other business settings. It is ironic that some articles have been produced over the last year or so regarding “remote working” within the banking industry. Up until now, this concept has only been slowly tested and implemented by community lenders across the country, but the issue has been forced upon banks and credit unions in recent weeks. Again, this is a challenging time for us all and during these trying times all community lenders are dealing with the issues as best they can in real-time – quite the challenge. Many lenders are looking for ways to streamline various parts of their operation.
Improving Efficiencies of Loan Operations
Let’s focus on the Loan Operations staff at banks and credit unions who have their own unique set of issues to manage when being forced to work remotely. On a typical day, when working in the office your staff normally deals with a ton of paperwork, maintaining the core system, processing and scanning piles of loan documents, protecting personal customer information, compiling reports, learning new loan products and reviewing insurance tickler systems -- just to name a few duties. This must all be accomplished while staying compliant, maintaining implemented policies and procedures, and keeping the processes as efficient as possible. While new technology continues to improve many of these processes, much of this workload is not as easily adaptable to a remote working environment. What specific procedures can be changed – or even eliminated -- to better accommodate this new normal of increased remote working for the loan ops team? One area to examine is how collateral is protected.
Tracking Insurance vs. Blanket Concepts
Tracking collateral insurance can be cumbersome, and inefficient -- it is a difficult process to manage. Even when partnering with an outsourced vendor the loan operations team can still be heavily involved in those procedures. Frustrations exist within this process when your staff is working from the same office. How does this look when employees are working from home, scattered across a region? Should the elimination of insurance tracking be considered as remote work schedules become more common?
Eliminating insurance tracking would improve efficiencies, reduce frustrations, and most importantly eliminate unnecessary difficult discussions with your borrowers regarding insurance during a time of crisis and beyond. Blanket Portfolio Protection eliminates the need for insurance document tracking and eliminates force-placed insurance. Blanket Protection, when designed properly, will protect the community lender from uninsured loss while eliminating the concern of potential human error. No more letters, calls, high premiums, and the need to threaten force placement goes away.
It seems certain that “working remotely” is a solution that will stick with community lenders even beyond this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Set your loan operations team up for success in and out of the office by streamlining as many of their procedures as possible and reducing the unnecessary negative interaction they have with your borrowers. A switch to Blanket Portfolio Protections may be a good place to start. Click below to download our Guide to Blanket Insurance or