Virginia Banks Open for Business and Ready to Assist Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Article Bruce Whitehurst Virginia Bankers Association

The Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) is working closely with its 100 member banks across the state in proactively addressing the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, Virginia banks are taking aggressive steps to safeguard the health and safety of their customers, staff and communities while ensuring the delivery of important financial services such as money and credit availability.

With approximately $615 billion in deposits and strong capital levels, Virginia banks remain financially solid and stand ready to provide important financial services to our fellow Virginians. As part of the United States’ world-class leadership position in the payments system, Virginia banks offer customers numerous ways to access banking, with technology enabling remote access at any time of day or night.

Federal and state regulation requires financial institutions to have continuity plans and testing processes in place which address pandemic response scenarios. While each individual bank’s plan may differ slightly, banks are communicating with their customers and offering them multiple ways to interact and accomplish their banking needs during this time when social distancing is a priority for all. Among these steps:

  • Banks are encouraging customers to utilize drive-thru, digital and ATM channels for transactional services.
  • Customers facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19 should contact their bank to discuss their individual situations; the earlier the contact with your bank, the better.
  • Banks may be adjusting hours and/or limiting lobby access in some branches beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020 and will have messaging on their website and social media channels with information, so customers will know how best to make appointments to meet with bankers, access safe deposit boxes, and handle other transactions in branches not readily achievable through ATMs or digital banking.
  • Banks are enhancing cleaning and sanitary practices to help mitigate the potential spread of the virus.
  • Banks are implementing travel restrictions for their staff members.
  • Many non-customer-facing bank employees are being asked to work from home until further notice.

In reviewing the changes being implemented by VBA member banks, VBA Chairman Jeff Haley, president & CEO of American National Bank & Trust Co., commented, “Virginia banks are the cornerstone of their communities. Providing safe and reliable service is a key priority for every one of our banks, especially in challenging times. I am especially proud of the steps banks are taking to protect the health and safety of our fellow Virginians while continuing the professional delivery of banking services.”

“Virginia’s banks are open for business,” said VBA President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst. “Like all other employers, banks are taking common sense steps to keep people healthy. Our financial system is strong, and access to banking continues in communities across the state.”

In addition, the VBA is working closely, and routinely communicating with, state and federal bank regulatory agencies and Virginia elected officials to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of banking services and access to liquidity.

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About the Virginia Bankers Association

The Virginia Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and has served as the unified voice for Virginia’s $615 billion banking industry and its 42 thousand employees since 1893. To learn more about the VBA, click here.