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10:24 AM
Bryan Yurcan
Bryan Yurcan
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Sandy Highlights Bank's Disaster Plans

Many financial institutions were able to communicate with customers through various channels about branch and ATM closures, and temporarily waiving fees.

Those of us who live in the northeastern U.S. face a long and arduous slog recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy has had an extreme impact on many different areas of the economy, and financial services was among them. The New York Stock Exchange closed for consecutive days due to weather for the first time since 1888. And banks were also ready with plans to communicate with customers and aid in the recovery process.

TD Bank announced it would offer quick lines of credit for customers who are in financial need as a result of the storm. Bank of America also said it is launching a customer-assistance program for its customers who were caught up in the storm's wreckage. Many other banks also announced similar initiatives, as well as things like waiving certain fees for customers for the duration of the storm and its aftermath.

Communication about where branches and ATMs were available was also critical, and for that banks leaned heavily on one of their newer communication channels: social media. Many banks turned to social media to update their customers on branch closings and reopening, as well as alternative means to access their banking services.

Certainly, the road to recovery is not over. In Manhattan, where the offices of Bank Systems & Technology is located, much below 34th Street is without power and transit. And banks, like many other facts of the private and public sector, will continue to recover as well.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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