Even as the war grinds on, the banking system is operating smoothly, making payments and settlements and providing financial services to businesses and households.
The banks are efficiently applying their pre-designed business continuity plans and constantly updating them to account for the results of the modeling of various operational risk scenarios, in line with the Regulation On Organization of the Risk Management System in Ukrainian Banks and Banking Groups.
The NBU is keeping in touch with banks and scanning the current situation for existing and potential risks in order to be able to respond fast with the right tools.
In the earliest months of the full-scale war, two factors were vital for the continuous operation of banking infrastructure:
- securing the capabilities of data-processing centers that ensure the functioning of the banking system and client applications and the availability of backup communication channels
- ensuring cash collection from bank branches and retailers amid a growing demand for cash.
These measures are proving useful even now.
Because of the recent destruction of the Ukraine’s energy infrastructure by the enemy’s missile strikes, the risk of customer service disruptions at bank branches due to planned and emergency blackouts have significantly increased, as has the threat that lasting power outages may completely derail the banks’ operations.
To mitigate these risks, the NBU and systemically important banks are implementing an action plan to ensure that the banking system continues to work smoothly in conditions of long-running blackouts.
Systemically important banks have compiled a list of 760 on-duty branches, located in Kyiv and in 275 settlements in 22 oblasts, that will provide financial services to clients even amid a long-term lack of power supplies.
These branches are already being furnished with all the necessary equipment and communication channels designed for continuous operation when there is no power.
Plans are being implemented to ensure the resupply of these branches with additional staff, cash register equipment, ATMs, and cash.
The NBU and systemically important banks have made sure that their contact centers are operating smoothly to inform customers about the availability, location, and working schedules of vital bank branches in cities and towns throughout the country.
“Believe in the best and prepare for the worst, is a motto that currently requires clear and concrete actions from the NBU and systemically important banks. The maximum readiness of the banking system for uninterrupted operation during blackouts, as well as the clear communication of this readiness to people, is a prerequisite for maintaining financial stability. Clients must know where they can go to get their funds, financial services, professional advice, support, warmth, and mobile connection. The banks will design operating schedules for on-duty branches in a way that can transform them into shelters, locally known as invincibility points, that can temporarily provide refuge for anyone needing it. This is our joint line of defense, our contribution to bringing the victory closer,” said NBU Governor Andriy Pyshnyy.
To ease the burden on branches, the banks are recommended to automatically extend the validity of payment cards and postpone the re-identification of customers.
The NBU and systemically important banks prioritize measures that will reduce risks to the banking system’s continuous operation amid persistent blackouts.
Thanks to the joint efforts of the NBU and the banks, the financial sector will continue to be a reliable source of support for its clients and the Ukrainian economy.
Let’s hold the financial frontline together!