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HIGHTSTOWN - The New Jersey Bankers Association (NJBankers) and CrossState Credit Union Association wrote to Gov. Murphy, March 24, on behalf of the state’s banks and credit unions, to assure him of the financial services sector’s commitment to New Jersey’s consumers and businesses during this COVID-19 emergency.

According to a release, additionally, the associations thanked the governor for his efforts to make New Jersey’s essential business guidelines fully compliant with the federal guidance set forth by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and emphasized the need to publicly recognize banks and credit unions as essential service providers to the public during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The financial services industry is one of sixteen critical infrastructure industries, as determined by the federal government. The CISA guidance identifies specific financial services sector employees as essential critical infrastructure workers during this COVID-19 response and instructs that they have a special responsibility to maintain their normal work schedule.

During the pandemic, banks and credit unions have continued to ensure New Jerseyans’ access to buy their necessities and operate life-sustaining businesses, and they will continue to do so throughout the entirety of this crisi

“The safest place to keep your personal savings during a time of crisis is in your financial institution, as our members are well-capitalized and financially strong,” stated John McWeeney, Jr., NJBankers’ president & CEO. “Deposits are safe and insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and in many cases, institutions have excess insurance arrangements in place.

Banks and credit unions have implemented their business continuity plans to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on financial services. The associations discourage consumers from making large cash withdrawals, as the safest financial transactions are through online and mobile banking, credit and debit cards, electronic payments and ATMs. Many modern banking services can be conducted remotely on multiple devices, giving consumers access to their funds at any time.

While some financial institutions are utilizing drive-through services to “flatten the curve” and protect the health of both consumers and employees, staff is still available to serve customers.“Access to financial institutions is essential for consumers, businesses and working families to quickly utilize the checks that the federal government seeks to provide as soon as possible and, if necessary, access, manage, and utilize any other assets they may have, such as retirement, securities and trust accounts.

”New Jersey’s banks and credit unions are here to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associations urge state and federal government to continue to categorize financial institutions as essential to the infrastructure of the state and nation.“The state’s consumers and businesses are urged to contact their banks and credit unions as soon as possible to help them weather any financial hardship the current public health crisis causes,” stated Patrick Conway, CrossState Credit Union Association’s president & CEO. “Banks and credit unions are committed to their members, customers and communities, and they are working to develop innovative ways to deliver essential services to all New Jerseyans.”