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Private Banking During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the economy all over the world in the first half of 2020, and it’s very hard to say at this point how long the crisis will continue. Industries of all varieties are struggling without the ability to run brick-and-mortar locations, meet clients in person, or count on consistent supply lines.

At First Western Trust, we’ve worked hard to adapt and ensure a seamless experience for our clients. Much of what we do for our clients can be done remotely, so we’ve been able to provide the same level of customized, holistic financial services. Here are some of the ways we’ve been dealing with this crisis.

Taking the Financial World Digital

In today’s digital world, you’d be hard pressed to find a bank that doesn’t offer a mobile banking app, and we’re no exception. With the First Western mobile app, you can easily and securely manage your account from your phone, anywhere you have a connection.

Deposit checks, check your account balances and transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, manage and pay bills, set up account alerts, and track your finances in real time, all without needing the help of another person.

Of course, if you have more complicated questions or do need help, our world-class team is on hand to help you through any financial questions you might have. Contact us via phone or email at any time or set an appointment and we’ll make sure that you get the answers to your questions.

We offer digital form signing so that you don’t need to worry about jeopardizing your health by coming into one of our physical locations to sign a form. The world hasn’t stopped just because mobility is limited, so we’re proud to be able to open accounts for you without any face-to-face contact at all. We’ll send you all the forms and information you need, arrange a phone or video call to explain them, and you can submit them digitally from your own home.

Investing in Uncertain Times

As anyone who’s been paying attention can attest, the stock market has been a roller coaster in the last six months. From an initial crash that triggered circuit breakers over and over to a slow recovery, punctuated by large single-day rises and falls, it’s been extremely difficult to make any meaningful predictions about what the markets might do next.

It’s at times like this that our advice about caution and diversification stands. We’re not in the business of day trading — instead, we focus on helping our clients achieve long-term goals based on their own priorities and values.

In fact, the market has bounced back surprisingly well. As of July 20, the S&P 500 is back to 96 percent of its February 19 value, its last high point before a catastrophic month of March saw it lose almost a third of its value in a month.

This crisis has been an excellent demonstration of the relative stability of ETFs, too. Of the top ETFs by assets in the United States, most of them have recovered most of their value in the last few months. Some are even outperforming their Q1 high points.

New Laws to Consider

Another area where we’ve been able to assist our clients with their banking needs is when it comes to navigating the new and changing laws that this crisis has brought about. For example:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided federally guaranteed and forgivable loans to any employer who can maintain their payroll through this crisis. We’ve helped our clients apply for and receive the funds they need.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and Emergency Economic Injury Grants are low-interest loans and small grants that can help small businesses cover their expenses.
  • Mortgage forbearance programs can help families cope with a sudden reduction in income
  • Many changes to IRA, 401(k), and other plan rules, including extended contribution deadlines, suspended required minimum distributions, hardship withdrawals, and loans from company-sponsored plans

Talk to First Western Trust

If your personal finances have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, now’s the time to talk to the experts at First Western Trust. We take a holistic look at your income, expenses, investments, accounts, and business interests to help you craft a plan that’s right for you during these uncertain times. Whether you’re looking to seize an opportunity for investment or simply weather the storm, we can find a plan that aligns with your values, priorities, and goals. Contact us today.

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