Banks preparing for pandemic impact
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The Oklahoman asked the presidents of the two largest downtown Oklahoma City banks to discuss how they are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Both BancFirst and Bank of Oklahoma employ more than 200 at their downtown offices and retail branches.
BancFirst President David Harlow
“We are at the early stages of understanding the impact of the coronavirus on the Oklahoma economy. Some customers and industries will be more impacted than others and as a result we will work with each of our customers on a case by case basis. We have successfully dealt with similar situations in the past with individually tailored solutions, most recently with the federal government shutdown in 2018.
“As part of our disaster and pandemic planning, we have procedures in place that are tested throughout the year that ensure ongoing delivery of banking services to our customers should we encounter a significant decline in our workforce.
“Fortunately, our customers today increasingly handle their banking needs through digital and online channels in addition to utilizing our call centers. Our planning does allow for staffing to meet critical daily check clearing, cash handling and customer needs at our banking locations across the state.”
BOK Oklahoma City Executive Vice President and CEO John D. Higginbotham
“We are continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation closely. This is a rapidly evolving situation and, as such, can be stressful.
“We have business resiliency plans in place which are regularly tested to ensure we’re prepared for contingencies such as these. These plans are designed to ensure clients have access to their accounts and can manage their finances without interruption.
“We are encouraging clients to leverage all of our available tools for self-service banking and 24/7 account access through mobile, online and telebanking services.
“Clients can also use these channels to check balances, transfer funds, deposit checks or find the nearest ATM or drive-through location.
“If customers do come into one of our locations, they should know that we’re following guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep them safe.
“We are asking those who are feeling unwell, to stay home or seek medical attention as warranted.
“As far as the economic impact, the rapidly evolving situation is keeping us all on our toes and we’re doing our best to inform clients as quickly as possible of any changes to our operations as well. By taking steps to remind customers how they can work with us virtually, we’re working hard to ensure clients don’t experience any interruption in our service.
“This is impacting industries all across the board. BOKF is monitoring the market situation along with all of the business announcements that are constantly streaming in right now.
"We will share updates as needed through our website and social media channels.”