Stepping up for society in response to the pandemic
“It is our job to focus on listening to our customers and provide an equitable and fair solution.”
– Stacey Krynsky, VP Client and Treasury Manager, Beneficial State, United States
Signatory banks moved swiftly to provide support to those most affected by the pandemic as quickly as possible.
For many banks, one of the most impactful things they could do was to provide some respite from financial pressures on individuals and small businesses. They postponed loan repayments, reduced minimum credit card payment limits, removed ATM withdrawal fees and raised debit card spending caps.
In addition, some banks responded by making loans available to small businesses to bridge the gap in income, enabling them to for example pay wages and suppliers.
Many banks around the world donated food and contributed to funds buying protective equipment, testing facilities and medical supplies, and to support education.
Collaborating with Governments
Banks have been key partners in swiftly rolling out national support measures designed to support people and businesses affected economically by the pandemic. They stepped up to quickly get financial resources to where they were most urgently needed. In some cases, this included getting cash to unbanked individuals.
Sustainable Recovery – building back better
Banks are coming together to explore how they can collectively support a greener, more sustainable recovery. This includes climate transitions in the sectors hardest hit by the economic shutdown, innovation in products and partnerships for an inclusive recovery, and helping organisations adapt as countries emerge from the crisis.
Keeping staff safe, and business going
One element to banks’ response was to ensure they continue to provide services to their customers, while keeping their staff team safe. This meant making adjustments to facilitate home-working, redesigning branches to allow people to keep safe distances and training staff in how to protect themselves against transmission. Many provided additional support to their staff, including offering counselling services, and even guaranteeing jobs.
A bank launched a programme of support, including lines of emergency credit, for small businesses to help them survive the pandemic.
One bank launched a social bond to tackle the negative effects of the pandemic, which raised around $2,500 million.
A bank reduced the minimum monthly payment on its credit cards by up to 80%.
A bank offered an online portal of helpful local resources, tools and financial products.