Money

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Bankers Association states Missouri banks will continue to deliver financial services such as money and credit availability while safeguarding the health and safety of their customers, staff and communities as Missouri banks implement changes to minimize person-to-person contact.

In a press release, the Missouri Bankers Association stated that with approximately $145 billion in deposits and strong capital levels, Missouri banks are financially strong and stand ready to provide important financial services to their customers.

The majority of banking services and products can be delivered through banks’ enhanced mobile and digital channels.

All customer deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 per depositor under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, making money they have in the bank safe for bank customers.

This includes checking, savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit.

Because banks are deemed essential services under federal and state regulations, they are required to have continuity plans and testing processes in place that address pandemic response scenarios.

Across the various lockdowns that have been implemented, this designation has not changed.

Banks have remained open for business due to their criticality to consumer life.

This means banks are prepared to respond to the evolving pandemic response while delivering uninterrupted service to their customers.

“Banks have activated their continuity plans to ensure banking services continue for their customers,” Max Cook, president and CEO of the Missouri Bankers Association, said. “Providing safe and reliable service is a key priority for every bank in our state, especially in challenging times like these.”

Although each individual bank’s plan may differ, a growing number of Missouri banks are implementing changes to minimize person-to-person contact and to encourage responsible social distancing, such as:

Encouraging customers to use drive-through, digital and ATM channels for transaction services and to take advantage of debit and credit cards for purchases.

Enhancing cleaning and sanitary practices to help mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

Implementing travel restrictions for staff members.

Customers facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19 should contact their banks to discuss their individual situations.

Customers also are encouraged to check their bank’s website for updates as the situation evolves.

The Missouri Bankers Association states situations like the COVID-19 pandemic increases criminal attempts to take advantage of vulnerable individuals during times of crisis.

Individuals should be cautious of emails, texts and calls that mimic communication from their banks.

The Missouri Bankers Association states a customers bank will never contact them to verify their account information or credentials to access those funds.

If a customer receives an email, text, call or other communication seeking personal or banking information, they should contact their bank immediately.

“Missouri banks are the foundation of their communities,” Cook said. “During this unprecedented time for our country, Missouri banks are here for their customers and communities. I am proud of our banks and their continuing support for their customers while protecting the health and safety of their communities.”

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