(PRESS RELEASE) — We have been actively monitoring the global and regional spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Since the declaration by the WHO on March 11th, 2020, of the COVID–19 as a global pandemic, our primary focus has been on the safety and wellbeing of all First Citizens employees, our customers and other partners.
First Citizens Infectious Disease Plan (FCIDP) was activated on January 31st, and we have been rolling out measures to increase awareness among our stakeholders, minimise the risks to our employees through the issue of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and optimizing our operations to suit the circumstances as they evolve. Through our Emergency Management Team, we are very proactively monitoring and responding to the needs of our stakeholders.
In our ongoing efforts to help keep employees and customers safe, First Citizens:
* has deployed the FCIDP, which follows best practice and mitigates risk through several specific steps and actions – including measures to minimise health and safety risks to employees and customers
* has provided designated employees with PPE for use in their daily operations
* has provided ongoing awareness information and updates to employees and other stakeholders
* has conducted enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures at our office locations, including branches throughout our network has reduced all foreign travel by our staff to mission-critical travel only
* has implemented reporting requirements and quarantine protocols for staff who may have travelled or must travel to at-risk countries or countries of interest
* is affording special leave for persons who may require this under quarantine measures, whether or not there has been confirmation of infection
One of the recommended approaches to the containment of the spread of this virus, according to regional public health officials, is what is being referred to as ‘social distancing’. This involves, as far as possible, limiting your in-person, face to face interactions or contact with other persons. Taking this into account, we wish to encourage our customers to adopt the following approaches:
* Reduce your in-branch transactions and make use of our digital and electronic banking channels, as far as possible
* Bank online or via telephone by contacting our bank’s call center at 62–FIRST (623–4778), which is available between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., daily, even on weekends and public holidays
* Avoid the crowd at the banking halls – use your bank’s conveniently located ATM machines
* Download the First Citizens mobile banking app and make payments, do transfers, view live balances and so much more
* Use your First Citizens debit card or credit card to facilitate payments and purchases
* If you have virus symptoms, avoid coming into a bank branch
* If you must visit a branch, be sure to avoid physical contact with persons and limit your contact with surfaces within the public spaces. Try to limit the time you spend within a Branch, by making use of all available electronic banking channels and by speaking to your banking representative before coming into the branch.
At this time, it is important that we all take personal and collective responsibility for the safety and well-being of our families and loved ones. We encourage you to keep abreast of the advisories published by your local health authorities and by global health authorities such as the WHO and to take all necessary actions and precautions to protect yourself and others from infection or contagion.
We are committed to the prevention of the spread of this virus and to the health and well-being of our staff and our customers. Our deepest concern is for the welfare of our employees and our customers, and we are doing all within our power to ensure that we protect ourselves, our communities and our country!