There has never been a more powerful demonstration of the strength and resiliency of Albertans than what we witnessed over the past year. In the face of an ongoing global health crisis and the resulting economic impacts, the people of this province found ways to stay connected—offering each other support, encouragement, and hope when it was needed most.
ATB is grateful to have played a part in helping Albertans navigate their way through the uncertainty and challenges of 2020. We focused first on the health and safety of our team members and our clients, while building solutions to address the most urgent needs of our clients and our communities. Since then, we’ve continued to uplift Albertans, their businesses, and their communities whenever and wherever we can.
Our commitment to Albertans is at the centre of everything we do. It’s why we’ve encouraged people to imagine what’s possible and why we’ve nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans. It’s why we’ve supported local, seeded ingenuity, and spurred innovation, both before and during the pandemic. And it’s what we’ll continue to do to keep Albertans moving toward the better days ahead. We know those days will come—and we’ll be here to help Albertans embrace the possibilities that come with them.
The act of reflection is powerful. It causes you to pause and assess what you’ve accomplished, and even more importantly, what you have learned. For ATB, this past year has been one of reflection and substantial growth—both as individuals and as the leaders and team members of Alberta’s largest financial institution.
We are living in a new Alberta, shaped by a global pandemic, oil price and market volatility, and meaningful social movements. To say this is a fluid time is a massive understatement. However, ATB was built to help Albertans, and that calling was just as strong this year as it was when we were first created in 1938. Over the decades, we’ve transformed people’s understanding of what banking can—and should—make possible.
When the pandemic hit, we knew we could make a difference during one of the biggest challenges of our generation. With creativity and empathy, our team members connected with thousands of clients across the province. We helped Albertans and their businesses diversify and adapt to changing economic conditions by providing personalized financial advice and solutions. Knowing the urgency our clients were facing, we quickly became experts in deploying a suite of government relief programs. ATB was one of the first banks in Canada to automate federal support payments with digital end-to-end processes. For our clients, that meant accessing their funds in days, not weeks, to be able to better navigate their new path forward.
For some, finding their footing on that new path has been a challenge. The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt very differently by industry, by organization, and by individuals. In the midst of so much uncertainty, ATB pledged to do more, and focused on the many ways we could make a difference. We committed to being in business for the greater good and helping to raise the overall well-being of Albertans. We found new ways to uplift mental wellness for youth and first responders, we helped to make homeownership a reality for Alberta families in need, and we partnered with the United Way for on-the-ground, emergency support during this volatile time.
As an organization, we also recognized that our team members needed more of our support as well. While navigating new working environments, on the front line with personal protective equipment and at home in virtual offices, we needed to find ways to make it all possible: work, childcare, school, family, and countless other commitments. Our own resilience was tested and retested.
Along with our physical safety, we needed to address our own mental health. As an organization, we introduced a new employee and family assistance program and digital resiliency tools, and we added additional wellness days for our team members to disconnect and recharge. We also reflected on our own diversity and inclusion and the need to continue building a psychologically safe workplace. The best way to create change is to set a clear intention. We commit to mitigating bias, breaking down barriers, and simply being better for our Black, Indigenous, and otherwise racialized communities and team members. We are challenging ourselves to become an organization where all team members belong and are part of #OneATB. And the power of #OneATB is undeniable.
I am truly thankful for our more than 5,000 team members who continue to display resilience and optimism and carry the unwavering belief that anything is possible. It is because of them that ATB is in the position of strength that we are and can continue to help guide the province back to prosperity.
While this past year may have challenged us in all aspects of our lives, more than anything, it has strengthened our resolve. Alberta, with its broad diversity in both people and landscapes, is in a unique and strong position for economic recovery. We are known for our tremendous wealth of resources, our market access, and our low cost of doing business. Alberta’s unique attributes are more than robust enough to compete within our borders and well beyond, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about our future. As a province, we are already on track to recover some of the lost ground from the global pandemic and oil-price crash, and we can feel the momentum building.
As Alberta’s bank we are confident we can be a catalyst for growth. Our clients are counting on us to be experts in our field, dependable providers of advice and solutions, and for ATB to be ready for a new digital economy. We are at a point of inflection as an industry. The rapid advancements in technology, increased use of artificial intelligence, new and innovative regulations, and changing expectations of consumers and business owners are all converging, resulting in disruption like we’ve not experienced before. And at ATB, we are ready for it.
While our financial results are certainly impressive, outstanding in fact, our success is a testament to the dedicated ATB team members who are obsessed with making it possible.
ATB was built to help Albertans, and that commitment holds true as we look to the brighter future we know lies ahead.
President and CEO