The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is devastating, specifically for individuals who lost loved ones to the virus outbreak. Businesses lost an inordinate amount of money and resources as a direct result of the unprecedented contagion. In March 2020, the United States and much of the world came to an abrupt and grinding halt.
Presently, our economic and physical health is slowly recuperating, and we have beneficial news for those of you yearning for that personal touch when it comes to financial dealings. There’s a new kid on the block in Alhambra: U.S. Bank has opened a new branch inside Albertsons supermarket which has proved to be extremely opportune.
One of the perplexing things many of us had to deal with was not being able to see friends and family members or even talk with our favorite bank teller while depositing hard-earned paychecks every Friday. It was March 2020 when banks suddenly shuttered the majority of their offices and were constrained to ask their customers to use the efficient, albeit spiritless, machine known as the ATM. For the digitally savvy, mobile banking was and is the future. Thankfully, we still have a quest for human interaction and friendly local banks, such as U.S. Bank in Albertsons, are growing in popularity.
The affable branch manager, Michael Win, spoke with Beacon Media about the new location and the bank’s overall philosophy with the success of its customers first in mind. With 16 years of financial experience and three years with U.S. Bank, Win emphasized the importance of getting to know the community in which he works.
Meeting with city officials, Win stressed the importance of the bank’s diversity and pointed out that the company’s inclusion is a large part of the bank’s philosophy. He proudly flaunted the bank’s honor as “One of the world’s most ethical companies,” as noted on their website.
Win stressed the importance of having a diverse staff for a diverse community such as Alhambra — employees speak multiple languages including Chinese, English, Spanish and Burmese. In the wake of deadly hatred recently directed at Asian Americans, Win pointed out that U.S. Bank’s compassion for the community is incomparable. By choosing Alhambra as one of their new branches, Win said he and his team of experts will be able to fill any void felt by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents in the community.
U.S. Bank adapted swiftly to the sudden, bewildering dive into uncharted waters (during the height the pandemic) and strengthened their digital platform(s) and technology to support the digital customer and those who suddenly found themselves dealing with Payment Protection Program (PPP) and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan paperwork so that they might survive and not lose dedicated employees. The staff at U.S. Bank went into overdrive to help customers through the mind-boggling amount of red-tape paperwork involved in applying for said loans.
U.S. Bank has stepped up to help communities in need, working with more than 100,000 businesses secure approximately $7.6 billion in PPP loans with the potential to support nearly 1 million workers, while also continuing to deliver essential services during the pandemic.
With PPP loans or modifying loan terms, U.S. Bank developed new flexibility. “The way we were able to approach this moment in history says a lot about our company, our culture and our team. We emerged stronger together, and I am grateful to our employees for their flexibility and resilience,” U.S. Bank CEO Andrew Cecere said.
During the pandemic, U.S. Bank showed enormous community spirit by getting involved and getting to know all about Alhambra. Another hard-hit business during the pandemic was of course the local, once vibrant, restaurant scene. The Alhambra branch again extended its helping hand by supporting local restaurants and supplying over 400 meals and beverages for Alhambra’s medical community and first responders.
Helping quell anxious investors, U.S. Bank’s diversified business model was evident during this time. They reported record revenues in 2020 despite a challenging interest rate environment that pressured net interest income, and even though there was a significant slump in consumer spending activity. Similarly, although their payments business was affected by diminished consumer spending in some of the hardest-hit categories like airlines, travel and hospitality, they had very strong results in mortgage banking and commercial products to “help offset the impact,” Win said. Some of those commercial projects included investments in construction and manufacturing of plexiglass which was in demand to protect employees and customers from transmitting the virus.
With diversity in thought and deed, U.S. Bank’s Alhambra branch, is celebrating their official grand opening now through May 3. There will be special incentives for customers, and it’ll be an excellent time to get to know your new financial professionals in the community.
With Alhambra’s renters representing 60 percent of the area’s population, U.S. Bank has devoted countless hours of workshops dedicated to financial education and stressing the importance of financial literacy. With the diverse community needs and strong Asian American influence, the Alhambra branch in Albertsons has enlisted four teams within the bank to offer exceptional financial proficiency for AAPI members.
Win stresses the merit of their digital capabilities and how it enabled the bank to convert face-to-face interactions to online or virtual ones. Now, with this new branch, there will be more comfortable and in-person interaction and eye contact that is so important in any transaction.
The new location is at 2400 W. Commonwealth Ave. in Alhambra, inside the Albertsons supermarket. Call (626) 349-3748 to contact the branch.