• By: Passageways
  • March 28, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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•	Where Community Banks Can Find Help During the COVID-19 Crisis
•	How Community Banks Have Responded to COVID-19 and What’s Next

With the number of global cases soaring, it’s clear that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is putting the flexibility of the global financial system to its biggest test since the 2008 financial crisis. The following is an assessment of the situation and a list of resources your community bank can turn to to help navigate through this crisis.

The good news is that community banks today are on more solid footing than they were in 2008 with more capital available and banks making less risky bets with their balance sheets.

More Loan Applications are on the Horizon

However, warning signs are starting to show. The credit market is beginning to show signs of fragility, investors are leaving previous safe havens, and many economists have predicted the coronavirus could spark a corporate debt crisis.

Loan committees, in particular, are going to experience a great deal of stress as the pandemic continues. Wallets are already getting stretched by a decline in business, reduced work schedules, and other limitations to income. Loan applications will come pouring in. That’s actually where a virtual board and committee management platform like OnBoard can help your loan committee collaborate and shorten the loan approval process.

Helpful Resources for Community Banks

With so much information coming out every day, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for help. Fortunately, there are quite a few resources that community banks can tap into to request further assistance, receive advice, and share best practices.

  • Our company, Passageways, has published a Guide on Remote Leadership featuring best practices, tips, and guidance for making decisions, providing strategic guidance, and keeping communication channels open during a crisis.

  • The Independent Community Bankers of America has a great Crisis and Response Preparedness Toolkit complete with blogs on COVID-19, strategies for community bankers, opinion pieces and thought leadership. They also have a free online course that will tell you simple steps you can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All of these resources and the free course can be found here.

  • The American Bankers Association has recently launched a Pandemic Response and Business Continuity Resources for Banks. This site is full of great information and is regularly updated as they know more. It includes the most up to date guidance from financial regulatory agencies and offers situational reviews from public health officials.  It also has prevention and recovery planning recommendations and best practices on communicating with employees, customers, and the public.

  • In addition to these associations, the federal government’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) should be your go-to place for the most updated regulations, guidelines, and consumer information.

Community Banks: You Are Not Alone

Finally, community banks should know that they are not alone in this fight. The branch may be closed, but resources like those mentioned here are available to ensure they can communicate with their teams and provide service for their customers even while working remotely.

About The Author

Passageways
Passageways
Passageways is a SaaS provider of collaboration solutions for boards and employees. OnBoard is a board governance solution, designed to improve collaboration for directors and administrators throughout the meeting life cycle. OnSemble's a lovable, drag and drop, Employee Intranet that connects an entire workplace to one central collaboration hub, builds your culture, and inspires employee engagement.

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