2020 Annual Report
“The COVID 19 pandemic rocked the world as we know it, and its effect on our region cannot be overstated. But the way our team at Chelsea Groton Bank responded was nothing short of heroic…”
Read the entire letter Michael Rauh, President and CEO, penned to the community here.
The Bank proudly accepted the honor of being named a “Top Workplace in CT” by The Hartford Courant for the fifth consecutive year, and “Best Place to Work” by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. The health, safety and well-being of the Chelsea Groton team was at the forefront of each decision made by the Bank.
In addition, the focus on professional development and leadership at every level within the organization continued through the Grow, Launch and Lead Leadership Program. The program consisted of 58 learning sessions that included instructor-led classes, power hour training courses, lunch with a leader, business seminars, and manager chat and chew sessions. Other activities that Team Chelsea participated in included: 2nd Annual Leadership Summit, micro-learning digital programming, virtual water coolers, employee spotlights, and engaging in dialogue through “Chelsea Chat” on the company’s intranet.
3,678 Employee Volunteer Hours
80% Participation in CFit Wellness Program
Employees Raised $5,836 for 20 Organizations Through Casual for a Cause Days
Employee Online Training Courses Were Doubled
“We are always working diligently to ensure employees are engaged and connected to their work and each other. 2020 was no different, but there was a heightened focus on engagement as team members were either working from home or isolated within their branch. We pivoted to create innovative virtual engagement activities, and offered more team member training and development programming than ever before.”
– Kristin Zummo, VP, Learning and Development Manager
Chelsea Groton’s commitment to the community was unwavering in 2020. While some community events were paused during the pandemic, the Bank figured out ways to still support the individuals and organizations in greatest need.
The Bank presented $1,800 in local restaurant gift cards – $300 to each of six different deserving frontline organizations – based on votes tallied on Chelsea Groton’s Facebook page in celebration of Pay It Forward Day. Donations to local organizations were also made in honor of the Bank’s 166th birthday in July. An additional $22,000 was given to the local organization of each employee’s choice through the Acts of Kindness program. Several grants were provided to area teachers who pivoted how they were educating students, and 15 scholarships were presented to rising college students.
The Chelsea Groton Foundation swiftly responded to support emergency relief efforts as well as needs across all giving categories in the wake of the pandemic, making the unprecedented decision to double the usual amount of total funds granted in a calendar year. Together, the Bank and Foundation gave $1,000,000 to the local community in 2020.
$1M+ Total Charitable Donations
100% Participation in Acts of Kindness Program
15 College Scholarships Presented
“Our organization’s roots are in this community. We knew there was no time more important to figure out a way to help people than in this time of great need. We’re fortunate to have a Foundation and a commitment to community giving, and are able to have such a positive impact on organizations in need of support.”
– Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, and President of the Chelsea Groton Foundation.
Our branch teams pride themselves on the hands-on support they’re able to provide our members. When Covid hit, the Bank focused on being available to members in a way that was safest for all. Phone calls, emails, and letters were sent to check-in on customers. Appointments were made for matters that needed to be handled in-person. Drive-ups were bustling. When lines were long, branch team members provided curbside concierge, running between the parking lot and the lobby in order to process transactions while limiting the number of individuals inside the branch.
The in the spring. Lunch and Learn classes are held weekly in Mystic and streamed to registrants. Additional financial education and lifestyle programming is offered on a near-daily basis online. In addition to live classes, on-demand content is available on the Bank’s E-Learning Center, and .
New personal digital ways to bank and stay connected were introduced. Chelsea|LIVE Video Banking ATMs were installed at five branch locations, with more locations slated in 2021. And the Chelsea|Live Video Banking App provided individuals and businesses a way to “meet” face-to-face with their banker through a secure video call, and even review and sign documents live on screen.
5 New Video Banking ATMs
166 In-Person and Virtual Education Classes
“We were closing on a house in Florida while still here in Connecticut. It wasn’t an easy task, but we wanted to thank everyone at Chelsea Groton Bank for making it possible… Your team went far above what would be expected and still smiled!”
– Center Groton customer
“This is why I use Chelsea Groton, because you genuinely care about my business!”
– Norwich-Westside customer who received a “check-in” phone call during the pandemic
Chelsea Groton is the number 1 real estate lender in Eastern Connecticut, meaning the Bank provided more residential financing than any Bank, Credit Union or Broker in the region in 2020. When the pandemic began, many financial institutions had to pause accepting mortgage and refinance applications because they were not set up to handle the volume while working remotely. Since Chelsea Groton’s loan process can happen entirely online, the residential lending team and hundreds of residential loan customers seamlessly transitioned to an online loan application and virtual meetings with borrowers.
Chelsea Groton helped more homeowners get into a new home or refinance the one they were in than any year in recent history. In addition to helping over 30 borrowers obtain nearly $5 million in Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) first mortgage loans, the Bank helped 18 borrowers obtain over $150,000 in down-payment assistance grants or loans through partnerships with the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), CHFA, the Housing Development Fund (HDF) or Eastern Connecticut Housing Opportunities (ECHO).
While low rates motivated many homebuyers, there were also homeowners who were furloughed and unable to make their monthly payments. The Bank worked one-on-one with each of these individuals to offer fee forgiveness and loan deferments.
#1 Real Estate Lender in Eastern Connecticut*
$268M in New Consumer Loans and Mortgages
908 First Mortgage Loans
248 Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
86 Construction and Land Loans
155 First Time Home Buyers
“In what was a difficult process, for us as first time buyers, your team spent quite a bit of time walking us through the process, explaining the details of each of the documents we needed to provide, and always available by phone!... We cannot thank CGB enough for ensuring that our closing was secured as needed. We have our new home because of your efforts.”
– Appreciative homeowner
“We wish to express our gratitude for your expertise in helping us through the mortgage process… your team created a mortgage estimate that perfectly suited our needs, one that no other competing bank could match. In addition to always being available, day & night, our lender explained every step of the process & provided us with the support & reassurance we needed. It was no surprise when our lender was present at our closing to celebrate with us! Thanks to her diligence, we closed early on our new home. We are so grateful to Chelsea Groton Bank for making our dream come true!”
– Happy homeowner
*The Warren Group, Inc. Mortgage Marketshare Module Report- All Residentials, All Regions in New London and Windham Counties, CT Annual 2020
The Bank’s commitment to economic development and local business partnerships has been a cornerstone of who Chelsea Groton is. When businesses were impacted by government-mandated shutdowns, and the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were introduced, the Chelsea Groton team worked around the clock to ensure they could support as many area businesses as possible. The Bank’s efforts helped to save approximately 8,000 jobs in the region, more than any other lender in the area. Chelsea Groton also developed a Small Business Relief Loan program for businesses in need of additional funding as they worked to recover from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Inclusive of the $74 million in PPP loans, the Bank’s commercial loan portfolio grew to $259 million, as Chelsea Groton continued to provide credit lines, term loans, permanent commercial mortgages, and construction loans to businesses throughout New London, Middlesex, New Haven, Hartford & Fairfield Counties.
The Business Banking team assisted current and new customers to adopt the Bank’s many cash management services, including Remote Deposit Capture, ACH Origination, Positive Pay and Wire Origination, which proved to be secure and efficient solutions for businesses working remotely and safely apart.
The Bank also pivoted to offer an online series of events for aspiring entrepreneurs, and additional courses for small business owners and professionals as they worked to start a business, or navigate their business through challenging times.
$74 Million in PPP Loans to Nearly 600 Businesses
$320 Million Commercial Lending Portfolio
7% Increase in Adoption of Cash Management Services
Grew Business Deposits by $127.9 Million
“The Chelsea Groton Bank leadership team and its staff operations simplified this SBA PPP process, navigating us through the application and approval process to obtain this needed SBA PPP financial resource to soften the impact of the Covid-19 financial crisis. We commend you for the assistance and guidance that Chelsea Groton Bank provides the small business community of SE CT.”
– Local Marina
“I would like to thank each and every one of your staff with whom I interacted for the PPP application…The PPP has really been a lifesaver to our situation and given us breathing room to adapt and move on. Our business has benefitted, our staff continues to be employed and we continue to care for our patients.”
– Medical Office
The Chelsea Groton Financial Services team supported customers as they navigated many diverse challenges in 2020. By utilizing tools that align portfolio trajectory with personal risk tolerances, and being available for one-on-one consultations and quick check-in phone calls – just as they’ve always been – clients were able to stay the course throughout 2020. Assets increased and the team gained new clients due to a combination of strong relationship management efforts and a focus on risk appropriate portfolios.
1,000+ Video Consultations with Clients
13% Growth Assets Under Management
“Our team was able to proactively meet with and reassure clients, throughout the uncertainty which came with the pandemic, by connecting with them virtually. Video calls allowed us to continue many of our normal business practices.”
– John Uyeki, SVP, Director of Chelsea Groton Financial Services and Financial Advisor, Infinex Investments, Inc.
Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member / . Chelsea Groton Financial Services is a trade name of the bank. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.