Leadership in a Time of Crisis: Washington Trust

There are many words we could use to describe 2020: surreal, challenging, uncertain, unprecedented … but at the same time, inspiring, collaborative, cooperative, and hopeful. Our employees, whether working on the frontline or remotely from their home offices, have risen to the challenge presented by this pandemic, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Washington Trust has been a cornerstone of the communities we serve for more than two centuries, and we take that responsibility seriously. So, when the pandemic struck, we were ready with customized solutions to help anyone, including our own team, impacted by COVID-19:

We moved non-office critical employees to work remotely to increase social distancing for our colleagues in office critical roles, and maintained our flexibility for employees who needed the time to take care of themselves and their family members.

Despite limiting lobby usage in our branches, our employees remained connected to their customers by phone and email, and made sure they had the tools they needed to manage their money quickly and securely through our digital banking platforms.

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We made temporary adjustments to consumer and mortgage lending products to make them more affordable and accessible to existing customers, and supported the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program for both customers and non-customers.

For the past several months, Washington Trust has fundamentally transformed the way we serve our customers, while skillfully maintaining the personalized service for which we are known. And, although every element of service “before” has been transformed in ways we never conceived of just a few short months ago, our branch, mortgage and commercial departments have been on-site processing and closing loans in historic numbers.

During this time of social distancing, we have found that the human connection is now more important than ever. Although technology allows us to do many things remotely, personal contact and communication have become paramount in keeping people healthy and safe – personally, professionally and, most importantly, financially. Whether with employees, customers, or other members of the community affected by the COVID-19 crisis, we now know how much it matters to share helpful information – and, also to just listen. We urge everyone to take the time to reach out across your communities, and to support one another through this challenging period.

As a Bank, Washington Trust has weathered many storms throughout our 220-year history and has always been there for our customers and communities during difficult times. During this crisis, we have collectively brought our customary high standard of care, for our customers, for our communities, for each other, and for our shareholders, to a new height. On behalf of everyone at Washington Trust: we’re here to serve, we’re here to help, and you can count on us today, tomorrow and well into the future. We look forward to seeing you in person in the days ahead, and a heartfelt thank you for trusting us with your business.
Mark K. W. Gim
President & COO

Edward O. “Ned” Handy
Chairman & CEO
Washington Trust

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