BankNewport Bolsters its Commitment to the Community During Coronavirus Pandemic
Financial support, voluntarism mark the community bank’s ongoing efforts to help address immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19
NEWPORT, R.I. (April 29, 2020) – BankNewport, one of the country’s oldest community banks whose hallmark is its dedication to the communities it serves, has responded to the growing need during the COVID-19 crisis by providing additional support to its customers and the community at-large.
“During this unprecedented time, it is more important than ever to support our communities, especially those who are working tirelessly to serve those who are most in need,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President and CEO, BankNewport. “I am proud of the way our team has adjusted to this new way of doing business.”
Earlier this year, before the onset of COVID-19, 35 employee volunteers from BankNewport and its sister agency, OceanPoint Insurance, participated in a meal-packaging project with the United Way of Rhode Island. In just two hours, the team packaged 12,000 meals for local food pantries, including FabNewport, the MLK Community Center, East Bay Community Action Program, and We Share Hope, a contribution that unknowingly would fill an immediate need.
As the pandemic grew, the Bank’s Community Fund Committee redirected its grant funds to extend immediate financial support with grants totaling $250,000 to the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Fund, and most recently a $100,000 grant to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. In addition, more than $78,000 in sponsorship funds earmarked for nonprofit fundraising events were released to help meet their immediate needs. OceanPoint Insurance also contributed $2,500 to the COVID-19 Response Fund at the United Way during 401 Gives Day.
“I am so proud of our organization’s ability to pivot in order to assist our partner agencies with their growing demand,” continued Pattie.
In addition to its ongoing community support, BankNewport has been working around the clock to fulfill loan requests for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as an emergency micro loan program in partnership with Rhode Island Commerce, the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Through these programs to date, BankNewport has awarded a total of $101.5 million in loans to approximately 1,200 small businesses in Rhode Island, including restaurants, retailers, and sole proprietors.
BankNewport’s day-to-day branch activities have also continued, due to the availability of Personal Teller Machines, which offer the personal touch of a real-life banker, combined with the convenience of an ATM, allowing customers to conduct most everyday transactions, including deposit, withdraw, transfer funds, make payments, cash checks, and receive coins.
Branch visits have converted to by-appointment banking only, an existing on-line service used moderately by customers before COVID-19 and now, widely adopted with more than 170 branch appointments being made each week.
“I am so thankful to our retail bankers for their flexibility in making the necessary changes needed to provide ongoing reliable service to our valued customers during these difficult and unusual times,” said Mary Leach, Executive Vice President, Director of Consumer Relationships. “My appreciation extends to the bank’s Call Center agents, Residential Loan Officers, and Premier Bankers, all who experienced higher than normal call volume, customer inquiries and record setting residential loan applications over the past several weeks.”
To ease the burden many customers are facing, BankNewport has waived fees as part of its customer assistance program, including but not limited to overdraft fees for personal and business deposit accounts, overdraft protection transfer fees from deposit and loan accounts, monthly maintenance service charges, BankNewport foreign ATM charges, in addition to waiving late fees on residential mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit. A full schedule of fee waivers appears on the homepage at BankNewport.com.
Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island. With $1.7 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities. BankNewport has 18 branch locations, with commercial lending offices in Cumberland and Providence.
BankNewport business lines include OceanPoint Marine Lending, specializing in consumer marine and recreational vehicle financing programs, and OceanPoint Insurance, a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency, providing a broad range of property casualty insurance products, including financial services and marine related insurance products.