ABINGDON, Va., April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the COVID-19 situation evolves, community banks in Southwest Virginia are stepping up to help their neighbors and friends navigate through this crisis. These banks have taken prudent steps to safeguard the health and safety of their customers, staff and communities while maintaining the normal delivery of critical financial services such as money and credit availability. They want the community to know they are open for business, and they are ready to serve customers who need help.
Financial institutions want the community to know that the safest place for customers to keep their money is in a deposit account at an FDIC-insured bank, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America. Funds are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, and since 1933, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC insured funds. Federal and state regulation requires banks to have continuity plans and testing processes in place which address pandemic response scenarios. Community banks in Southwest Virginia have such a plan in place, and have already implemented many changes to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them are:
- Closing lobbies and asking customers who desire personal or specific banker services to request office appointments.
- Encouraging customers to utilize drive-thru, digital and ATM channels for transactional services.
- Enhancing cleaning and sanitary practices to help mitigate the potential spread of the virus.
- Implementing travel restrictions for staff members.
- Asking many non-customer-facing bank employees to work from home.
- Requesting customers facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19 to contact their respective bankers to discuss their individual situations.
- Urging customers to take advantage of their debit and credit cards when making purchases.
- Encouraging customers to check their banks' websites and social media channels for updates as the situation evolves.
The American financial system is strong, and while social distancing has temporarily changed how many people conduct their banking business, it is business as usual otherwise. Banks can deliver products and services through enhanced mobile and digital channels such as mobile banking, online bill pay, ATMs, ITMs and touchless payments as well as person-to-person payments and remote deposit services.
Providing safe and reliable service is a key priority for all banks, especially in challenging times, and they are proud to play a small part in working to defeat this health challenge by following suggested business operating guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and other local and regional healthcare facilities.
Like all other employers, banks are taking common sense steps to keep people healthy. The financial system is strong, and the business of banking continues in Southwest Virginia communities as well as communities across the state.
About Southwest Virginia Banks United
Southwest Virginia Banks United is an informal association of banks that came together to voice strong financial support for the communities we serve across this great region in this time of crisis.
"While we are all required to adjust our lives and our ways of conducting business, we are adaptable, and we are all in this together. As we move forward in these trying times, rest assured that your community banks in Southwest Virginia are united in a common purpose. We pledge to maintain the high standards of financial support that our customers and communities deserve and expect in this time of crisis."
If you would like to schedule an interview with a bank representative, please contact your local community bank, listed in alphabetical order below.
Jeff Haley, CEO - American National Bank
Chris Snodgrass, CEO - Bank of Marion
Litz VanDyke, CEO - Carter Bank & Trust
Bill Sage, CEO - Farmers and Miners Bank
W. Mark Nelson, CEO - First Bank & Trust Company
Gary Mills, CEO - First Community Bank
John Thompson, CEO - First Sentinel Bank
Donna Thompson, CEO - Grundy National Bank
Robert Coffey, CEO - Lee Bank & Trust
Jibber Ward, CEO - Miners Exchange Bank
Brad Denardo, CEO - National Bank
Todd Asbury, CEO - New Peoples Bank
Leton Harding, CEO - Powell Valley Bank
Blake Edwards, CEO - Skyline National Bank
Barry Elswick, CEO - TruPoint Bank
SOURCE Southwest Virginia Banks United