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Banks across the country are taking steps to help consumers impacted by the deadly coronavirus.
As of May 14, there are more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of the virus in the United States and more than 4 million people infected with COVID-19 around the world, according to data provided by Johns 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.)
Ally Bank said it will not charge savings and money market account holders excessive transaction fees or charge customers for overdrafts through July 18. Furthermore, there will be no fees for expedited shipping of checks or debit cards.
The bank recently told customers that for anyone who received a stimulus check and had a negative balance, Ally automatically credited their accounts so that they would get the full benefit of the payment. This was a permanent credit.
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. So far, the online bank has agreed to give $3 million worth of support to communities in need.
There’s also relief for existing Ally’s auto loan and home loan customers in the form of payment deferrals for up to 120 days, without late fees. Auto loan customers can also defer payments, if needed. Through July 18, fees are also waived for broker-assisted trades, overnight outbound check processing and paper statements for investors.
Bank of America
Bank of America’s CEO has agreed to donate $100 million to support vulnerable communities impacted by the outbreak and address other concerns. The bank has agreed to give up to $250 million in capital to community development financial institutions and up to $10 million in grants to help cover operations costs.
Account holders are welcome to contact the bank if they need financial assistance. On the website, there’s a link borrowers can use to request a payment deferral. Bank of America is also one of the banks that is deferring any negative balances so that customers can have full access to their stimulus checks. A bank spokesperson says Bank of America is also waiving fees for non-clients to cash their stimulus checks.
Through the bank’s Financial Center and ATM locator, you can find out whether the nearest Bank of America facility is open. The bank is also adjusting the hours at financial centers. All financial centers will be open at set times during the week and during normal hours on Saturdays. 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.
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. You can also contact the bank to address concerns about how the bank may use your government stimulus check.
CDs opened before March 1 can be withdrawn without penalty upon request. Customers who might benefit from a line of credit, credit card or loan payment extension or deferral can request one through the online payment assistance portal. Upon request, BBVA is also refunding overdraft fees and waiving and refunding ATM fees charged by out-of-network banks and ATMs.
BBVA advises that customers use this tool to check the status of their local branch or ATM. For now, the bank is primarily providing services through its drive-thru window (in some branches on a limited basis). Except for appointments made in advance, walking through banking center lobbies is not permitted.
BMO Harris customers impacted by COVID-19 have many assistance options available. Upon request, early withdrawal penalties for CDs opened before March 1 can be waived. Foreign ATM fees can be potentially waived and refunded.
Consumer and small business customers can also request overdraft fee waivers. For real estate loan, personal loan, auto loan, credit card or small business loan payment extensions or deferrals, customers can make requests for help online.
Lobby access is temporarily unavailable at all branches except for the main one in Chicago, where there’s limited access and a time frame (9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) for elderly customers only. Most branches are operating primarily through drive-thru windows.
The regional bank, which has branches in eight states, including Minnesota, Kansas and Indiana has agreed to donate up to $500,000 to support communities affected by the virus.
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. A message from the CEO says the bank has provided assistance by waiving fees for bank customers and doubling ATM withdrawal limits. The bank also agreed to dedicate $50 million to nonprofit partners who aid community members.
Capital One wants to ensure customers have full access to the stimulus funds from the government. A spokesperson notes that customers whose accounts are overdrawn when their stimulus checks are deposited will receive a temporary credit equal to that of their overdrawn balance. If overdrawn customers have incurred any overdraft fees since March 1, 2020, Capital One will waive them to ensure that no portion of the stimulus funds are applied to fees during the deposit.
Capital One so far has temporarily closed all Capital One Cafes and a quarter of its branches. 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.
Mid-March, Chase temporarily closed 20 percent of its locations (1,000 branches). Other branches are still open, but are closing early. Customers who need branch access should visit the Chase website to find the nearest open location. Those who need assistance as a result of the coronavirus outbreak should reach out to the bank. Otherwise, customers should use the Chase mobile app and its other digital features.
Links online are available for customers who need to delay credit card payments or need mortgage payment assistance. Chase car loan customers nearing the end of their term can automatically have their lease extended and may qualify for payment assistance. A spokesperson notes that when Chase customers receive stimulus payments, the bank is temporarily crediting any overdrawn amounts, giving them full access to the funds from the government.
Through May 31, monthly service fees for retail banking customers and early CD withdrawals penalties can be waived upon request (text “App” to 692-484). These fee waivers and an additional one for remote deposit capture fees can also be waived for retail bank small business customers. Upon request, safe deposit box fees and ATM fees for non-Citi ATMs can be temporarily waived, too. Like other big banks, Citi is also preventing government stimulus checks from being used to make up for negative account balances for now.
Credit card customers should sign into their account and request assistance online. Borrowers with personal loans may be able to defer monthly payments or waive late fees for two statement cycles by calling the numbers listed on the bank’s website.
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). Customers should use the ATM and branch locator to find out which branches have temporarily closed and which ones have adjusted their hours.
Like many other banks, Citi is providing relief to communities impacted by the coronavirus. Up to $1 million total, it plans to donate $5 to the World Central Kitchen for each primary account holder who registers for digital account access for the first time and logs in at least two times in May.
Citizens Bank says it’s dedicating $5 million to aid small businesses and communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Support will be provided through relief programs. Customers with cash back credit cards from the bank have the option of having all or a portion of their rewards used to help others in need.
The bank’s resource hub with information about the coronavirus outbreak mentions changes at branches, including temporary changes in hours (Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at locations normally open on weekends) and the installation of plexiglass windows to separate tellers from customers. Drive-up windows are still available, but branch visits must be scheduled as appointments in advance. Only two customers can be present in the branch lobbies at all times and employees are helping customers at teller windows one at a time.
Customers are encouraged to use ATMs and the bank’s digital banking services. Those struggling financially can call the bank’s contact center (800-922-9999) to discuss fees and options such as no-penalty access to CDs. Under the bank’s set of frequently asked questions, other phone numbers are listed for specific products and the bank notes that it is temporarily automatically increasing mobile deposit limits.
Customers are encouraged to use ATMs and the bank’s digital banking services. Those struggling financially can contact the bank to discuss options such as payment assistance, overdraft and late fee waivers, as well as early access to their CDs without penalty. Phone numbers are listed for specific products and services. The bank also notes that it has temporarily increased mobile deposit limits.
A statement from the bank says that “If a customer has an overdrawn account with a negative balance, any deposit — including those from the government stimulus checks — would contribute towards the overdrawn account reaching a positive balance. However, if a customer is overdrawn and needs access to their stimulus payment, we are extending a temporary credit so that they would have full access to these funds. Additionally, we are working with customers to have any fees incurred rebated as part of the general assistance we are giving to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Online banking customers who need assistance can call the number provided (1-800-347-7000). A spokesperson for the bank says customers may receive assistance related to payments, fees and interest.
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 on the website to get in touch with representatives (800-972-3030).
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.
A bank spokesperson notes that mobile check deposit limits have been increased. Checks deposited through mobile phones will be available the next business day and there is no fee to cash checks inside branches if a customer needs cash back above normal limits. Non-customers can also have their Treasury checks from the government cashed without paying a fee. For customers who’ve received their stimulus checks via direct deposit, the bank has permanently credited back any fees that may have been paid if the government check was deposited into an overdrawn Fifth Third account.
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. Branches are only available for access by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling your local branch.
Customers of Marcus, the bank owned by Goldman Sachs, also have access to financial assistance. Loan customers may be able to postpone making payments for a month and extend their loan terms for a month without paying interest. Borrowers should go online to request a payment deferral.
In addition to offering 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. CD holders who need extra funds can request an early fee-free withdrawal by calling a number listed on the website (1-855-730-7283). For savings account holders, Marcus offers same-day online ACH transfers (up to $25,000).
Like other banks, Goldman Sachs is also dedicated to helping communities impacted by COVID-19. It has a $25 million relief fund and will match employee donations up to an additional $5 million. As part of a separate initiative, $275 million is being set aside to help small businesses.
Key Bank, a regional bank based in Cleveland, also has options available for customers impacted by COVID-19. Checking and savings account holders can reach out to the bank to ask about waiving fees. Borrowers experiencing financial hardship may qualify for payment deferrals, a temporary assistance loan and other forms of relief. Phone numbers are listed on the website for private banking clients who need wealth management support.
Branch services are mainly accessible through the drive-thru option, although appointments can be made online to visit in-person, if needed. All branch lobbies are closed for now and certain branches have also been closed temporarily. Digital banking options and ATMs will continue to be available.
The bank, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh, also has a page dedicated to answering questions customers may have related to the coronavirus. PNC has closed one-quarter of its branches until further notice and the rest are operating mainly in a “drive-up only mode.” Hours for the remaining locations have been reduced.
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 customer service phone numbers listed by product. Consumer and mortgage hardship request forms are available online and emergency hardship loans can be requested, if needed. Student loan borrowers may be able to postpone payments without facing late fees.
The bank is helping retail bank customers, too, by waiving or refunding certain fees, such as overdraft fees and monthly service fees. To qualify, contact the bank directly (1-888-762-2265 or 1-800-352-2255 for Virtual Wallet customers).
For account holders with a negative balance the day before their government stimulus check arrives, the website says that a temporary credit for the negative balance amount will be applied to the account, so that customers can get full access to the funds from the government. The temporary credit will apply for up to 30 days and customers who receive one should receive a message from the bank via mail or email.
The Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based bank has a list of bank stores on its website that are temporarily closed. For stores that remain open, most lobbies are closed but drive-thru service is available. The schedule with reduced hours is posted online.
Account holders facing a financial hardship due to the coronavirus should contact the bank. Phone numbers are listed. The website notes that customers may qualify for assistance, such as payment deferrals. Borrowers with credit cards and personal or home loans can fill out a financial relief request form online.
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. Anyone who needs in-person branch access should go online to book an appointment. Some branches are closed and others are mainly operating through drive-thru lanes. Information about branch hours at BB&T and SunTrust branches is also online.
Customers who need fast payment relief can submit an online request and defer payments on residential mortgages, credit cards and other consumer loans.
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. There are also phone numbers listed on the Truist website that retail and business clients can call.
If a BB&T or SunTrust, (now Truist) account has a negative balance the day before the stimulus payment is received, the bank says it will apply a 30-calendar day temporary relief credit so that stimulus payments are available to customers in full. Clients can still get this temporary relief credit if they receive their stimulus payment by paper check. These checks can be deposited through the mobile app, at an ATM or at an open branch.
In March, 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, and mentions financial assistance options.
In March, 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. Mortgage assistance programs may allow homeowners to suspend payments for up to 180 days without worrying about late fees.
Customers are being asked to use the bank’s drive-up windows as activity inside many branches has been reduced. Hours at all branches have also been reduced. Customers are reminded that they can check the availability of local branches and 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. Account holders who need financial assistance and want to discuss their options can click on the relevant links that provide contact numbers (though call volumes are high). Customers may qualify for payment deferrals, fee waivers and other forms of aid if they contact the bank.
Non-customers can cash stimulus checks without paying fees. And existing customers, for now, won’t have to worry about their checks being used to cover negative balances, as the bank is pausing collection on these accounts for 30 days. Customers who receive paper checks are encouraged to deposit the check digitally using their phones.
The bank is encouraging account holders to use Wells Fargo’s digital tools. Call centers are still open, but some branches have temporarily closed and some hours have changed at certain locations. To find out more, there is a branch and ATM locator. In some branches, you’ll need to go online and make an appointment for activities that can only be done in person.
The Wells Fargo Foundation has agreed to donate $175 million to support public health aid efforts and address concerns, including housing security and food shortages.
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