Community banks prepared for COVID-19 outbreak

By Sarah Hawley - [email protected]

OHIO VALLEY — As national, state and local officials, are responding to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, local community bank officials are taking steps to protect the safety of their customers and employees will providing necessary services.

Farmers Bank President Paul Reed, Home National Bank President John Hoback and Ohio Valley Bank CEO Tom Wiseman, in a joint statement, assured customers that the banks will continue to meet the needs of the public during the outbreak and long after.

“As many of you know, COVID-19 has been diagnosed in Ohio and Governor DeWine has directed all schools to close and has banned large gatherings. In keeping with this approach of social distancing to try to mitigate the impact of this virus, we would encourage you to use your debit card whenever possible, bank online and handle your money as little as possible. But remember most of all, this is temporary and we are here for you through this and after this is over,” stated bank officials.

In order to practice the social distancing, which is being recommended to help slow the spread of the virus, the banks encourage customers to utilize mobile banking, use drive-thru lanes when possible, utilize telephone banking and to handle cash with caution. Among the business able to be handled over the phone are new loan applications. Customers can still bank in the lobbies at many locations, although they are encouraged to use the other available options.

“One of the fundamentals of community banking is working with our customers to meet their needs in this and other situations,” stated the officials.

“We know your finances are important to you and making sure you have access to them is important to us. We want our customers to know we are here to help and have everything it takes to continue business as usual,” concluded the officials.

Bank customers are also advised to be vigilant for possible scams related to the outbreak. Customers are advised to never give out personal information over the phone, including bank account information, social security numbers and other identifying information.

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Sarah Hawley

[email protected]

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.