Ignis aurum probat, miseria fortes viros.
Fire tests gold; adversity tests the strong.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the strength of ATB, Albertans, and people from across the country and around the world. This test of strength has not come in equal measure, but we’ve all been affected.
This past year has been filled with stories of hope where clients, when faced with challenges, were able to look to ATB for help. It is times like these that the true nature of ATB comes through—we understand Alberta and our clients—and that there is no one size fits all. Whether we were helping a tech company finance an expansion in the early days of the pandemic, doing a consolidation loan for a family whose father was recovering from cancer, or providing lunch for truckers on Highway 2, ATB existed to make it possible.
When fiscal 2021 began, the pandemic was in its early stages and things looked bleak for Alberta. We were living through the steep decline in crude oil prices along with dealing with the implications of the public health measures required to slow the spread of the virus. During this dark time, ATB showed up, as it has throughout its 82-year history—providing stability and being the place where our clients could come for support and advice.
We took a proactive approach and reached out to our clients. We knew that it wouldn’t be the same solution for everyone. Some needed reassurance, some needed more complex advice, and, sadly, some needed to make difficult decisions. ATB was there beside our clients, using our in-depth knowledge of Alberta and keeping our clients at the centre of our decisions. Together, we helped them make the best decisions for their financial future.
Our investments in technology paid off as well. Clients told us they needed quick and technologically advanced help—and we delivered. Riding on ATB’s foundations in technological systems and artificial intelligence, ATB excelled at quickly enabling our clients to apply for government support programs. There were great stories of clients applying for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) on a Monday who saw funds in their accounts by Friday. Technology was available to team members to transition to working from home and enable them to serve our clients in new ways. Whether it was for our clients or our team members, ATB was able to show up and make it possible.
This past year, boards across the world were challenged by massive waves of change in the areas of diversity and inclusion; environmental, social, and governance (ESG); and exponentially expanding advances in data and technology, to name a few. Our Board provided leadership, and we dedicated ourselves to continuous learning and improvement on these key challenges.
Because our Board takes ESG seriously, we have adopted the position that ATB is dedicated to making it possible for our clients, team members, and communities across industries and perspectives. Through a uniquely Alberta and ATB way, we are committed to ESG principles and creating long-term value through our environmental, social, governance, and economic considerations.
I want to thank the ATB Board for their hard work and dedication this past year. With their diverse backgrounds and depth of knowledge, the Board and our leadership team—led by our CEO, Curtis Stange—helped guide ATB through the challenges we faced. This year in June, Todd Pruden will be retiring from the Board, and I wish to thank him for his service and dedication to making ATB what it is today.
I also want to thank ATB team members for all their hard work. Through their dedication and perseverance, ATB has been able to deliver on our purpose, which is to make it possible for our clients. Fiscal 2021 was a very challenging year, but I will remember it as a year when our team delivered—a stabilizing force for Alberta, a trusted source of advice for our clients, and results for our owner.
The road beyond the pandemic is not certain, but it is getting clearer. We are optimistic about the recovery of the economy, and ATB will be here, working with you to make it possible.
Chair of the Board