When shutdowns began in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, banks and credit unions were allowed to remain open as an essential service. Many, if not all, closed their lobby areas to help slow the spread of the virus.
Now that lobbies can reopen again, what changes are being made to ensure a person’s health isn’t impacted?
“We’re going to go ahead and follow the CDC guidelines to ensure everyone is safe and healthy,” says Sarah Grooms, Senior Vice President of Town Bank during a recent WTMJ Cares Roundtable.
“Everyone will be asked to wear a mask inside the bank, both customers and employees. Lobbies will be open for normal business hours, most likely, and then also by appointments. So if someone is specifically concerned, we are always more than happy to accommodate people with special needs.”
Grooms adds they will have capacity limits for an entire branch, as well as limiting in-person meetings to more than four people in a conference room.
Financial institutions didn’t stop access to the ATMs outside branch locations. Grooms says they are being cleaned more frequently. “We’ve extensively increased cleaning of every part of the branch, and particularly things that are touched frequently like ATMs.”
Some services that require some form of physical interaction, such as real estate closings, were adapted during the pandemic. Grooms says Town Bank and other financial institutions have created a touchless experience.
“Customers can choose to complete their mortgage closing from their own home, via video or other versions of chat, or meet with a closure outside at a convenient location,” Grooms adds. She says some options will depend on the title company that a person is using.
Listen to the full interview above with Sarah Grooms during the WTMJ Cares Roundtable.