How the First State Bank is prepared for the Coronavirus
Update: March 7, 2020
Bank customers in the United States can rest assured that their money will remain safe and accessible in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in this country. Although health officials have yet to label the coronavirus as a pandemic, banks have plans in place that they can activate if the situation escalates.
Since 2007, when the H5N1 virus – or avian flu – spread throughout the globe, federal banking regulators have directed financial institutions to include pandemic planning as part of their overall business continuity plans. Individual banks each have their own unique plans, and all are required to address the threat of a pandemic influenza outbreak and its potential impact on the delivery of critical financial services.
Specifically, the plans provide for a preventive program, a documented strategy scaled to the stages of a pandemic outbreak, a comprehensive framework to ensure the continuance of critical operations, a testing program and an oversight program to ensure the plan is reviewed and updated.
Situations to consider include staffing shortages; increased reliance on online banking, ATMs and telephone banking; conducting operations from alternative sites; and employee and customer protection strategies, such as hand sanitizers.
The pandemic segment of the business continuity plan must be sufficiently flexible to address a wide range of possible effects that could result from a pandemic and also be reflective of the institution’s size, complexity and business activities.
Although coronavirus cases in the U.S. are so far limited, banks continue to monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and are reinforcing best health practices in offices and branches.