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Banks Must Ensure Smooth Provision of Financial Services to All Types of Clients – NBU Guidance

In a guidance issued today to all Ukrainian banks, the NBU has urged them to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus’s spread on the financial stability, banking system, and economy of Ukraine.

The banking system is operating in business-as-usual mode and will continue to do so. That includes regions where emergency measures to confront the outbreak have been put in place. The financial system today is sufficiently resilient and has a margin of safety in the form of reserves of capital and liquidity. Yet panic is another virus that the banks must do their best to combat. 

The central bank is calling on the banks to maintain active communications with clients to inform them about the plan of action and to keep them up to speed on current events.  This is especially relevant for the smooth operation of the banking system and the provision of financial services to all categories of clients.

The NBU recommends that the banks take the following steps:

1. Ensure that all remote services systems and call centers operate without interruption.

2. Temporarily reduce fees for remote/cashless services to encourage the public to use them.

3. Inform clients about the benefits of using remote services and cashless payments.

4. Take the following measures to safeguard the health of bank employees and their clients:

  • allow employees to work from home unless it impedes the bank’s operations
  • introduce clear operating schedules for bank branches, with mandatory breaks for sanitizing and ventilation.

At the same time, the NBU urges the public to follow WHO’s and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine’s recommendations and to refrain from making discretionary trips to bank branches, including visits to withdraw cash, make payments, or exchange currencies. Individuals should also avoid using cash – both hryvnias and foreign currency – which may potentially carry the pathogen. In today's circumstances, it is important to stay home and use remote banking and cashless payments as much as possible.

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