Banks across the country are taking steps to help consumers impacted by the deadly coronavirus.
As of March 19, there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States and nearly 230,000 people infected with COVID-19 around the world, according to data provided by John Hopkins University.
As retailers temporarily close up shop and employers cut back on hours, consumers should find out whether their banks are included on the list of those making policy adjustments.
Here’s a running list of decisions some banks have made to support customers with CDs, checking accounts and other types of savings products who are struggling to make ends meet. (This list will be updated on a regular basis as banks make changes to their policies for customers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. For information on what credit card issuers are doing to help their customers during this crisis, you can check this updated list.)
In an email sent March 18, the online-only bank reminded customers with deposit accounts that they have no minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees to worry about. Ally Bank also said that for the next 120 days, it will not charge savings and money market account holders excessive transaction fees or charge customers for overdrafts. Furthermore, there will be no fees for expedited shipping of checks or debit cards.
Retail banking customers with questions can call Ally Bank customer care 24/7 (1-877-247-2559). On its hub page with information about the coronavirus, Ally Bank encourages customers to download the bank’s mobile app and enroll in online services. There’s also relief for Ally’s auto loan and home loan customers in the form of payment deferrals for up to 120 days, without late fees.
Bank of America
The bank noted that employees are trained to help decide what the right support for an individual customer looks like. A spokesperson for the bank also notes that, “As part of our regular practice, we offer assistance to qualifying consumer and small business clients facing hardships, including forbearance with certain fees.”
Account holders are welcome to contact the bank if they need financial assistance. Through the bank’s Financial Center and ATM locator, you can find out whether the nearest Bank of America facility is open or closed for now. Its page noting the steps they’re taking in light of the spread of the virus also reminds customers that online banking and the Bank of America mobile app are also options.
The McLean, Virginia-based bank has a page that’s dedicated to addressing questions and concerns related to the coronavirus. It’s asking customers to reach out if they’re going through a difficult financial situation. The customer support section of their website lists various phone numbers account holders can use depending on the product or account they have.
Effective Monday, March 16, Capital One Cafes nationwide are temporarily closing, the bank’s website says, “due to growing public health concern and in an effort to be proactive.” Branches in certain areas are also temporarily closing.
If you need to access a branch, check online first using the Locations Finder tool to find out if there’s one open near you. In the meantime, the bank recommends using its mobile app and other digital tools. Capital One ATMs, including most of the machines in the cafes and branches that are momentarily unavailable, are still accessible 24/7.
The CEO of Chase consumer banking has a message for customers listed on the bank’s website, noting that it’s donating $50 million to nonprofits to “help address immediate public health needs as well as long-term economic challenges.” The message also recommends that customers reach out to the bank if they need assistance as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Effective March 19, Chase is temporarily closing 20 percent of its locations (1,000 branches). The remaining branches will continue to operate, but will close early. Customers who need branch access should visit the Chase website to find the nearest open location. Otherwise, customers should use the Chase mobile app and its other digital features.
On March 9, Citi agreed for at least 30 days to waive monthly service fees for retail banking customers and waive penalties for early CD withdrawals. These fee waivers and an additional one for remote deposit capture fees are also waived for retail bank small business customers.
Mortgage customers may be eligible for a hardship program and Citi credit card holders may be able to increase their credit lines and benefit from collection forbearance programs. Customers should reach out to the bank to find out if they qualify for assistance.
In its branches, Citi is providing plenty of hand sanitizer and ensuring that workers are aware of health and safety guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The company announced via email that customers using the online banking platform and lender, known as Marcus, would be allowed to delay making payments for a month. And users with an Apple Credit Card — which is issued by Goldman Sachs — will be able to avoid making payments for the month of March entirely without worrying about accruing any interest.
In addition to offering personal loans, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an online bank that provides access to high-yield CDs and savings accounts and no-penalty CDs that don’t charge customers for withdrawals beginning seven days after opening an account.
The bank, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, also has a page dedicated to answering questions customers may have related to the coronavirus. Effective March 20, the bank will close one-quarter of its branches until further notice and leave the rest open, operating mainly in a “drive-up only mode.” Hours for the remaining locations will be reduced and will be open during the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Customers who need to visit a branch to access safe deposit boxes or other services not accessible via an ATM, a drive-up window or through the bank’s digital channels can make appointments. A PNC branch locator is available to see which branches remain open.
The bank also says it’s willing to assist account holders experiencing a financial hardship and has a customer service phone number listed (1-888-762-2265).
The bank, which formed out of a recent merger between SunTrust and BB&T banks, says on its website that it’s taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its customers, including disinfecting ATMs, door handles, elevator touch pads and other surfaces that visitors frequently come into contact with at branches. There are also more hand sanitizers available now at the bank.
Other steps taken by the bank include waiving ATM surcharge fees temporarily for consumers and business owners and offering payment relief assistance for customers with credit cards, business loans and consumer loans. In addition, SunTrust and BB&T consumer credit card holders can get 5 percent cash back through Apr. 15 when they purchase certain items at pharmacies and grocery stores. There are also phone numbers listed on the Truist website that retail and business clients can call.
On Mar. 17, the Truist Financial Corp. pledged that it intends to donate $25 million through its Truist Cares initiative to provide aid and supplies to clients, employees and communities across the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus. Through the Truist Charitable Fund, a $1 million donation is immediately going to the CDC Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Through the Truist Foundation, a $3 million donation will be given to United Way organizations that support local communities.
Customers of U.S. Bank will also find a message from the CEO on the bank’s website. It outlines what the bank has done to protect its clients and retail bank customers, like providing extra hand sanitizer, wipes and spray in branches.
On March 13, U.S. Bank temporarily lowered costs for borrowers interested in personal loans and the bank’s Simple Loan product, which has been touted as a payday loan alternative for low-income Americans who need access to small-dollar credit options. Customers are also reminded that they can use the bank’s digital capabilities to bank at home.
Customers of Wells Fargo also have a hub page to access for all updates regarding the coronavirus. Wells Fargo lists a phone number (1-800-869-3557) account holders can call if they need financial assistance and want to discuss their options.
The bank is encouraging account holders to use Wells Fargo’s digital tools, but branches and contact centers are still open.
The Wells Fargo Foundation has agreed to donate up to $6.25 million to public health aid efforts being made abroad and here in the U.S. It will also soon donate up to $5 million to support local communities.
The Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based bank has a list of bank stores on its website that are temporarily closed. It also says that it is reducing hours at some locations and sending hand sanitizing kits as needed.
Account holders facing a financial hardship due to the coronavirus should call customer service (1-888-751-9000), which is available 24/7. Customers who cannot visit a physical location are being directed to TD Bank’s online and mobile banking platforms. They can also stop by ATMs to make withdrawals and deposits.
Fifth Third Bank
Consumers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus should contact Fifth Third to find out whether they qualify for any of the hardship and payment loan assistance listed on the bank’s website , such as the vehicle and credit card payment deferral programs. Payment forbearance is available for Fifth Third mortgage and home equity loan customers. There are phone numbers listed to get in touch with representatives (800-972-3030) and a dedicated hardship assistance line (866-601-6391).
There’s a fee waiver program, too, that will ensure that Fifth Third consumers and small business owners with deposit accounts won’t be charged any fees for up to 90 days. Foreclosure actions on residential properties and repossessions of vehicles will also cease for the next 60 days.
Customers can check the branch and ATM locator to get the status of their nearest Fifth Third facility. Within the branches, staff are using cleaning procedures recommended by the CDC.
Customers of the regional bank based in Birmingham, Alabama should contact a representative to find out whether they qualify for any assistance the bank is providing.
CDs opened before March 1 can be withdrawn without penalty upon request. A number is listed (1-844-222-3862) for customers who might benefit from a line of credit, credit card or loan payment extension or deferral. Upon request, BBVA is also waiving and refunding ATM fees charged by out-of-network banks and ATMs. The existing offers only apply through April 17, but this end date may be extended if needed.
BBVA advises that customers use this tool to check the status of their local branch or ATM. Branches are being kept clean and supplied with latex gloves for the banking staff and hand sanitizing stations for customers.