Radford News Journal

Virginia banks open and ready to assist customers affected by COVID-19

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 taking is 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. Individual banks will have messages on their website and social media channels with information. Their customers will thus 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 Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) member banks, VBA Chairman Jeff Haley, president & CEO of American National Bank & Trust Co., said, “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.”

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