Over recent weeks the focus for Bank First has been to put in place steps to look after customers, staff and other stakeholders, and to manage all the risks associated with the coronavirus.
In these challenging times Bank First’s purpose, culture, values and strategy provide a strong basis for all decision making. Just prior to the escalation of the coronavirus crisis, the Board and Executive Management had met for two days to review and clarify Bank First’s Strategic Plan.
The emphasis on day one was to consider our current circumstances and key capabilities (skills, knowledge and people), the technical/digital ecosystem in which we operate, and the evolution of the core banking system. We also reviewed our financial forecast for the coming three years in the context of the emerging economic environment.
The two days were very constructive. As always, I was impressed by the commitment and energy of our CEO and members of the Executive Management team. Directors undertook their responsibility to ensure all discussions were open, frank and robust, drawing on their various backgrounds to challenge assumptions, ensuring that all decisions were well considered. There was acknowledgment of the very challenging and competitive environment we are in, especially with the current global health crisis and the aftermath of Australian bushfires. As with all businesses we need to continue to focus on our current resilience whilst being poised for future growth.
Overwhelmingly however there was acknowledgment that Bank First is well placed to manage both current and future opportunities and challenges. There continues to be the strongest commitment to our current customers, our growth strategy and our values.
As individuals and families we are all affected by the health crisis. It is impacting all aspects of our lives, in direct and insidious ways. It is also demonstrating the interdependence of our biggest sectors - education, health, banking, and retail. Many of our Members are in occupations whose roles are to care for the unwell, or to provide continuity for the education of our children in unprecedented circumstances. Decision making at Bank First is always premised on the best interest of our customers, and having clarity of purpose allows us to support you, our Members, through this tumultuous period.