Published in Finance

Michigan banking groups say financial institutions will remain open amid pandemic

BY Tuesday, March 17, 2020 05:00am

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The trade associations representing the banking industry across Michigan say banks intend to stay open during the crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

MBA President and CEO T. Rann Paynter COURTESY PHOTO

Banks have contingency plans in place to respond to crises such as coronavirus, and may urge customers to use online and mobile banking service, ATMs and drive-thru lanes, according to the Michigan Bankers Association

“As the global outbreak of COVID-19 deepens, the MBA recognizes the current event COVID-19 situation and is monitoring for potential impacts on Michigan banks,” said MBA President and CEO T. Rann Paynter. “I’ve had conversations with bankers, and banks are keeping their lines of communication open with customers and informing customers with their pandemic plans. As always, banks focus on the safety and well-being of their customers, employees, and the communities they serve. Certainly, our thoughts are with those being impacted.”

The MBA also said that banks “routinely work with customers who are experiencing difficult and unexpected issues, and they stand ready now to assist those who may be experiencing financial difficulty due to the impacts of this global outbreak through a range of measures.”

Consumers and businesses “who may be encountering financial hardships” resulting from the pandemic should contact their bank, according to the MBA.

Mike Tierney, CEO of the Community Bankers of Michigan, told MiBiz today that his organization has reassured the state “that we will do all that we could to keep the banks open” as many businesses and organizations temporarily shut down.

“Our banks all have disaster recovery programs and they have pandemic protocols, so they’re not unprepared for this,” Tierney said. “I would say overall the banking system is pretty well prepared.”

The Community Bankers of Michigan has urged members to add staff at customer call centers and drive-thru lanes, as well as to regularly clean areas and wipe down ATMs and drive-thru lane tubes used by customers.

Customers using an ATM should wipe it down before using it, “just to be a little extra safe,” Tierney said.

“If the customers practice good safety and banks practice good safety measures, it should make it work better for everybody,” he said.

Read 1855 times Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2020 17:33