COVID-19 Financial Industry Responses (4)

Part
01
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Part
01

Suntrust Bank - Messaging Surrounding COVID-19

We provided the entirety of the information we found about how SunTrust Bank is communicating its messaging about COVID-19 in the research findings below. The communications we found from the company about such were included on its website and social media channels. References to SunTrust and Truist are used interchangeably herein because Truist Bank is the new company name resulting from the merger of SunTrust Bank & BB&T (though SunTrust still maintains its own brand).

Who the Communications Are Targeted Towards

Who Is Sending the Communications

  • Most of Truist Bank's communications about COVID-19 are sent on behalf of the company as a whole.
  • One exception to that is this PDF from SunTrust's Investment Advisory Group (with the company's Director, Global Macro Strategist, Eylem Senyuz, named specifically within the document) about the pandemic, which was published on February 11, 2020.

What SunTrust Is Communicating

  • One aspect of SunTrust's communications regarding COVID-19 is that the company is closely monitoring developments about the pandemic. As such, the company states that it's "in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization" so that its decision-making about business operations is based on the most-recent guidance and information.
  • SunTrust's communications emphasize a willingness from the company to help its customers who have been adversely impacted financially as a result of COVID-19. An example of that messaging is included in an Instagram post from the company with the caption "We're here to help."
  • The new Truist Cares initiative is a focal point of the company's communications about COVID-19, as the initiative is focused on providing support to those in need as a result of the pandemic. Truist states that it has "pledge[d] . . . $25 million in philanthropic support [that] will provide aid for basic needs, medical supplies, and financial hardship across the nation."
  • SunTrust is also communicating the steps it's taking to safeguard its employees' health. Some ways that the company is doing is by providing them with financial assistance and providing a paid time off option.
  • SunTrust's messaging about COVID-19 also involves efforts the company is taking to safeguard the health of its clients/customers.
  • The company is providing informative financial content to customers about how COVID-19 is impacting the financial markets. Another example of such is the previously mentioned PDF from the company's Investment Advisory Group about COVID-19, which mentions financial implications of the pandemic.

How SunTrust Is Communicating Its Messages

  • SunTrust's website is one channel through which the company is communicating its messaging about COVID-19.
  • On the website's landing page, there's a pop-up stating "Important Updates [-] Find out more about how we're responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation . . . ."
  • When site visitors click the aforementioned learn-more link, they are directed to a web page from Truist Bank dedicated solely to COVID-19 information, as it relates to the company's operations.
  • SunTrust has used a PDF document as a vehicle through which to communicate its messages about COVID-19.
  • Social media (Twitter and Facebook) is another channel through which SunTrust is communicating its COVID-19 messaging.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

BECU - Messaging Surrounding COVID-19

We provided the entirety of the information we found about how BECU is communicating its messaging about COVID-19 in the research findings below. The communications we found from the company about such were included on its website and social media channels.

Who the Communications Are Targeted Towards

Who Is Sending the Communications

  • BECU is sending the communications on behalf of the company as a whole and thus not from any one person or department.

What BECU Is Communicating

  • Much of BECU's communications about COVID-19 pertain to the financial wellness and safety of its employees and customers, which "is of utmost importance to" the company.
  • The phrase "we can help" is a common refrain is BECU's messaging about the pandemic.
  • Some of BECU's communications pertain to information about its branch locations, most of which are maintaining regular business hours. The company states that if there are changes about such, it's "Locations" page will be updated accordingly.

1. Financial Assistance

  • BECU is informing people about its Member Assistance Program and states that the company has "options to help during these challenging times."
  • The company also states that it "want[s] to help relieve the stress of financial worries." One way the company is doing so is by offering personal loans in the amount of or below $2,500 with a zero percent APR.

2. Health

  • BECU's messaging also focuses on the ways that it's protecting the health of its staff and customers. The company posted an article on its website titled "Protecting Members and Employees During the Coronavirus Outbreak." A specific example of a preventative measure the company is taking is more-frequently disinfecting areas of its buildings that are frequently touched, such as door handles.
  • The company has been communicating that it's continuing to monitor developments about the pandemic and reminds customers that the company will inform them of any updates if/as they arise. Furthermore, the company states that each day it's monitoring and modifying its operations, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC.
  • The company is advising its customers to primarily use mobile banking, bank-by-phone, and online banking whenever possible.

3. Social Media

  • BECU has posted a lot of content on social media about COVID-19, including announcements of branch closings due, financial news pertaining to the pandemic, updates about its operations (such as keeping regular business hours), ways that it's helping customers, reminding customers of ways they can contact the company remotely (such as through Facebook Messenger), how the company is providing charitable support to communities during the pandemic, and informing people that the company is staying up-to-date with the latest developments about the pandemic and CDC guidance.

4. Helpful Resources

  • BECU provides links to an array of resources from external sources that its customers can consult that might help them navigate financial, employment, and health situations resulting from COVID-19. Those external sources are the U.S. Small Business Association, the Washington State Employment Security Department, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Washington State Governor's office, LPL Financial, Members Trust Company, and the CDC.
  • For its business members, BECU is advising them to consult a resource provided by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and provides a link to that resource.

How BECU Is Communicating Its Messages

  • BECU is communicating its messages about COVID-19 through its website, including on the landing page, in a separate page specifically pertaining to COVID-19, and by updating other applicable pages within its website through mentioning COVID-10, such as for its Member Assistance Program.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Advantis Credit Union - Messaging Surrounding COVID-19

We provided the entirety of the information we found about how Advantis Credit Union is communicating its messaging about COVID-19 in the research findings below. The communications we found from the company about such were included on its website and social media channels.

Who the Communications Are Targeted Towards

Who Is Sending the Communications

  • The company as a whole is sending the communications and not any one person or department.

What Advantis Is Communicating

  • On the landing page of its website, Advantis communicates the following to customers: "We're here for you. Learn how Advantis is responding and how we can help." That same message of a willingness to help is echoed elsewhere on Advantis's website where the company states that "we’re here to help you through these uncertain times."
  • Advantis is communicating its commitment to safeguarding the safety/health of its employees and customers.
  • The company is also communicating announcements about branch closures due to fewer visits to branches by members and school closures that are affecting its employees' ability to work. Two of its branches (Downtown & Llyod Center) will be closed temporarily starting on March 19, 2020.
  • Financial assistance options are another aspect of Advantis's communications, as the company is offering such to its customers enduring financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Some of those financial assistance measures include skipping a payment owed and Emergency Loans.
  • Advantis is encouraging its customers to use online banking and bank-by-phone whenever possible, so as to avoid public spaces.
  • Social distancing is another message that Advantis is communicating.
  • The following is the company's specific statement about social distancing: "To protect the health and safety of our employees and members, we are making changes to ensure greater social distancing. When you arrive, you may be asked by our concierge to wait outside briefly, as we’ll be allowing a small number of members to enter at a time so that we can keep a comfortable distance from one another. We appreciate your understanding as we balance continuing to serve members at our branch locations, while helping to protect health and wellness."
  • Advantis is also sharing healthy habits with people to help lessen the spread of germs.
  • The messaging also emphasizes that the company is "continu[ing] to closely monitor this situation and do[ing] all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our members and employees."

How Advantis Is Communicating Its Messages

  • Most of Advantis's communications about COVID-19 are via its website. The company has updated the landing page of its website and titled it "Coronavirus Updates."
  • Another section of Advantis's website is dedicated to coronavirus information, as it relates to the company's operations titled "Coronavirus information and resources for our members."
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) is another channel that Advantis is using to communicate its messaging about COVID-19. The company states the following about social media on its website: "Please regularly . . . follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates, including any changes to our business hours or additional branch closures."
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Citi Bank - Messaging Surrounding COVID-19

We provided the entirety of the information we found about how Citi Bank is communicating its messaging about COVID-19 in the research findings below. The communications we found from the company about such were included on its website, in official press releases, and in its social media pages.

Who the Communications Are Targeted Towards

  • A specific sub-category of customers that Citi mentions in its communications about COVID-19 are its "private wealth management customers." The reason those customers are mentioned is that Citi's "Wealth Advisors and Relationship Managers may be working remotely due to branch staffing protocols being implemented in response to the recent public health issues" and the company is letting customers know about that.

Who Is Sending the Communications

  • The CEO of Citi, Mike Corbat, has communicated about COVID-19.
  • The company's CEO of U.S. Consumer Banking, Anand Selva, has communicated about COVID-19.
  • Citi has communicated about COVID-19 on behalf of the company as a whole and thus not from any one person or department.

What Citi Is Communicating

1. From Executives

  • Citi's CEO was recently quoted as stating, with regard to COVID-19, "We are here to help." An example of such is that Citi announced that it's contributing $5 million to the nonprofit No Kid Hungry to support children who don't have access to enough food during the pandemic.
  • The company's CEO of U.S. Consumer Banking, Anand Selva, was quoted in a press release as stating the following: "This is a rapidly evolving situation and we want our customers to know we are here to provide assistance should they need it. We continue to monitor developments closely and will evaluate additional actions to support our clients and communities as needs arise."

2. From the Company

  • The company is communicating that it "is closely monitoring the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has taken precautionary measures."
  • Citi is expressing a willingness to help people during the pandemic, through statements such as "we are here to help you in this current environment" and by providing fee waivers, financial assistance programs offering increases in credit lines, and offering forbearance.
  • Another example of Citi's efforts to try to help people is that it's offering the ability to tweet at the company by tagging AskCiti to inquire about how the company "may be able to help" customers during the pandemic.
  • Citi highlights that it has kept its branch locations open thus far, while recognizing that it might have to close some in the future, whether by choice or requirement.
  • Citi notes that it has adjusted its "daily cleaning procedures with the use of stronger disinfectant products on high-touch surfaces, have made hand sanitizer readily available, and are educating branch teams on best practices recommended by the CDC."
  • The company reminds customers that they can use its digital banking tools, which are online banking, mobile banking through the Citi app, or bank-by-phone options 24/7 if they so desire.
  • Citi reassures customers that it will "provide service and assistance if you need to contact us during this time."
  • Citi also directs site visitors to the CDC's website for further COVID-19 information.

3. Guidelines For Suppliers

  • The guidelines that Citi has instructed its suppliers to follow with regard to COVID-19 instruct its suppliers to notify Citi if one of the supplier's employees (at a location that services Citi) "is diagnosed with COVID-19 or presents related symptoms", as well as if the supplier "experience[s] a shortage of supply or a supply-chain disruption impacting Citi."
  • Citi instructs "suppliers that provide temporary staff to" the company to have them follow Citi's guidance regarding COVID-19, health guidance specific to their geographic area, and to self-quarantine for two weeks if they have recently traveled to South Korea, Italy, Iran, or Mainland China.
  • On March 9, 2020, Citi launched a one-month program "for its retail customers to waive monthly service fees and penalties for early CD withdrawals. Citi’s small business customers also get monthly service fees and remote deposit capture fees waived as well as waived penalties for early CD withdrawal."

How Citi Is Communicating Its Messages

  • The landing page on Citi's website has a pop-up stating "COVID-19: Latest on account assistance & fee-free access to cash with Citibank debit cards at key retailers & Citi branch ATMs."
  • Citi has a web page dedicated to "COVID-19 Guidelines for Suppliers."
  • Citi has issued press releases to communicate some of its messages about COVID-19. The first such press release was dated March 6, 2020, and was titled "Citi Assists U.S. Customers and Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19."
  • The second press release was dated March 15, 2020, and was titled "Citi Joins Major U.S. Banks in Suspending Stock Repurchases to Support Clients Through COVID-19."
  • Citi has a web page dedicated solely to COVID-19.
  • With regard to the possibility of closing some of its branches, Citi states that it will provide that information on the "Locations" page of its website.
  • Social media (Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter) is another channel through which Citi is communicating its messages about COVID-19.
Sources
Sources