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Local View Column: Banks still open; your money is safe

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The National Bank of Commerce on East Superior Street in Duluth. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

The physical and financial wellness of consumers and businesses is top of mind for community banks. Community banks understand the importance of stable and uninterrupted delivery of critical financial services, such as access to money and credit, during this time of crisis.

That is why we remain open for business and will continue to be available to meet the financial needs of the community. State and federal regulations require banks to be prepared for situations like pandemics, with tested and proven business-continuity plans and procedures that ensure they continue to serve their local communities during difficult times. An important fact for the public to understand is that your money is safe and sound in a bank. Deposit insurance covering at least $250,000 per person ensures the security of customer’s funds.

The physical and financial wellness of consumers and businesses is top of mind for community banks. They stand ready and able to assist customers through the financial hardships they may encounter in the coming weeks.

Regarding physical wellness, customers may notice slight changes at their community bank, such as drive-through-only access, limited hours, or the need to schedule an appointment. Banks will continue working to provide uninterrupted services to meet the financial needs of our customers. Most institutions now offer robust remote-access technologies, including mobile account access, mobile deposit, telephone banking, and ATMs.

We do not recommend customers take their money out of the bank; instead, monitor your account using mobile technology and automated inquiry methods. If you are not familiar with these user-friendly technologies, please call your bank for assistance.

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Banks’ safety measures are designed to protect the health of employees and customers while providing continuous access to financial resources.

Regarding financial wellness, banks are in constant contact with federal, state, and local officials, strategizing how best to coordinate available public and private financial resources and exploring all possible options for expanding access to credit.

During times of economic challenges, keep your money safe in a community bank. Be diligent in protecting your money from fraudsters who try to separate you from your wealth.

Rest assured, even in uncertain economic times like now, all banks maintain ample deposit insurance and continue to be your trusted partner in helping consumers and business weather unexpected financial strain.

We are all in this together. Communication is key. If consumers have any questions on how to access their funds or need advice on financial options or strategies to use during the COVID-19 crisis, they should contact their bank today.

Steven R. Burgess of Duluth is CEO of National Bank of Commerce.

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