Banking

Leominster Credit Union to pay employees $600 pandemic bonuses

The board of directors at Leominster Credit Union has approved a $600 stimulus check for all employees as a way to help reinvigorate a local economy battered by COVID-19 and the economic downturn.

Many credit unions rolled out hazard pay and other bonuses in the early months of the pandemic, though most institutions have since reverted to normal pay schedules. Bank of America last week announced plans to provide $750 bonuses for eligible employees who worked through the pandemic.

“We know that many individuals have faced struggles and challenges over the past year, in light of COVID-19, and we wanted to assist and support our employees as they continue to navigate through these unprecedented times,” president and CEO Barbara Mahoney said in a press release. “We are proud of our employees and the commitment they continue to demonstrate for our organization and our members.”

The credit union is encouraging staff to keep the money in the community by spending it at local businesses.

In a move similar to Leominster CU’s bonus, Tropical Financial Credit Union in South Florida last spring announced it would give $500 gift cards to all employees to help kick start the local economy. LCU’s bonus is also not likely to be widely repeated. Analysts suggested late last year that additional hazard pay was probably not in the cards for most institutions.

Call report data from the National Credit Union Administration Leominster Credit Union earned just under $2 million in 2020, down about 39% from the prior year, due to drops in interest and noninterest income, rising noninterest expenses and an increase in allowance for credit losses. Charge-offs and recoveries, which were primarily concentrated in used auto lending, were also both worse year over year.



 

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