December 2020 - As we approach the end of 2020, I want to thank you once again for your relationship with FHLBank Atlanta. This year presented challenges beyond what any of us could have envisioned 12 months ago, but we have continued to focus on supporting your success and delivering funding and strategic counsel through all economic cycles.
In this rapidly changing environment, our shareholders continued to meet the credit and other financial needs of their communities with excellence. We all had to adapt in significant ways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but working together, I believe we demonstrated how financial institutions can bring stability to communities in times of disruption.
The events of 2020 also provided an opportunity for the Bank to partner with you in new ways. While we were unable to meet in person for most of the year, virtual roundtables, webinars, and one-on-one online meetings enabled us to continue to collaborate and deliver value to you. The questions you posed and insights you contributed made these events successful and helped our team refine our roadmap for serving your business needs in 2021 and beyond. We will continue engaging with you virtually next year and look forward to working with you to build a stronger cooperative.
The financial services industry experienced record deposit growth in 2020 and depository institutions remain flush with liquidity. Furthermore, historically low interest rates have exerted pressures on net interest margins and created challenges in generating yield on assets. Economic forecasts indicate the low rate environment will persist through 2021. Despite these conditions, the Bank responded to your funding needs reliably throughout the year and we stand ready to provide strategic solutions to help you manage elevated liquidity levels, mitigate risk on your balance sheet, and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Preparations for the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a reference interest rate will continue next year. In recent developments, the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), which publishes LIBOR in various currencies and tenors, announced on November 30 that it will solicit feedback on its intention to cease publication of one week and two month U.S. dollar LIBOR after December 31, 2021, as expected, but extend publication of the remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR settings until June 30, 2023. IBA has published the consultation and will announce its final decision after the feedback period, which concludes on January 25, 2021. While this development is notable, we do not anticipate that it will substantively change the course of the Bank’s current LIBOR transition plans. The Bank made significant progress in 2020 in preparing systems, operations, products, and collateral reporting processes for the LIBOR phase out and is well positioned to complete the transition at the appropriate time. We will continue to monitor market and regulatory developments and will provide additional communications and resources to you in early 2021 to assist in your ongoing preparations.
We look forward to meeting in person with you again and hope that we will be able to do so soon. Whether we are working together virtually or in person, our focus will remain on supporting your success and helping you build stronger communities.
President and Chief Executive Officer