We have just become aware of one credit union, in the South West, where a staff member is obliged to be tested for Covid-19 and this could force temporary closure of that office, for deep cleaning and a replacement front line team. This credit union is fortunate to have a branch network, and therefore the continuation of key services to members is maintained.
As a result of this development and as part of your business continuity planning, you may wish to consider the possibility of office and/or staff sharing with other credit unions, in particular with other credit unions who may be familiar with the IT system of your credit union. This issue will be more relevant to credit unions that do not have a branch network.
As an essential service provider of key services to members [i.e. access to income, access to savings, access to credit, access to payment services] we would ask you to consider the following questions as part of your BCP during this crisis:-
- Do you have reciprocal arrangements in place or other mechanisms to overcome the temporary closure of your office and/or staff shortages?
- Have you tested the plans?
- If there is a break in the continuity of key services, how quickly would it take for your office or key services to be back up and running again?
- Is there a cleaning company in your locality that will provide certified deep cleaning of premises?
- Have you considered the need to train a wider cohort of staff to perform key roles, e.g. front line services, in the event of staff shortages?
- Can CUDA help or assist on any of the above?
In order for you to maintain the essential service in your respective communities, we have communicated with the Central Bank and Dept to ensure supports are available to you as and when you need them – such as CBI forbearance on emergency credit union credit decisions; cash availability; reliable networks (e.g. broadband and EFT); and security concerns in the short term, and possible regulatory forbearance in the areas of regulatory reserves and investments in the medium term. We will continue to keep you posted on these engagements, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries you may have or matters we can deal with regulators and legislators on your behalf.
Regards for now, Kevin