COVID-19 is first and foremost a human challenge which will require all of us to come together to respond and recover from the impact of the virus.
At Access Bank, we are also aware that this presents a business and economic challenge which will affect the way we conduct our activities in the coming weeks and potentially for a more prolonged period.
As the financial institution with the largest number of customers (over 40 million in Nigeria alone) and one of the largest private sector employers of labour, we are mindful of our responsibility to make a positive impact in the world’s collective fight against this threat, and more importantly, to let our customers know that we are in this together. We are therefore sharing with you some of the key steps we have taken to protect our systems as well as our business relationships while providing good quality service and customer experience to our customers and stakeholders.
This virus is spread through social contact. Our first measures are therefore intended to minimise this whilst still enabling business to continue in a manner convenient for our customers and beneficial to us all:
We are minimising physical meetings both with our staff and our external stakeholders. Instead, we will be conducting online meetings and providing our stakeholders with free links to join our virtual meeting rooms for any meeting that would ordinarily have taken place in person. Less time spent on the road will be beneficial to us all.
We have restricted international travel, recognising that this has been one of the catalysts for spread of COVID-19 around the world. We have also asked international partners to restrict their own travel to our locations. Again, we are making use of digital platforms to communicate.
Any of our colleagues currently outside the country will upon their return begin a period of at least 14-days self-isolation before returning to work.
Business Continuity Plan
We also realise that Banking is a critical service especially at a time like this. As well as a key driver of the economy, our customers will always need access to their funds to pay for goods and services. As there Is a possibility, like for every major employer of labour, that staff could be exposed at some point, we have taken steps to ensure back-ups for all essential roles and systems:
Our Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director will operate from different locations for the duration of this global crisis. We will ensure that, as much as possible, they will not come into physical contact with each other or social network.
We are replicating this team splitting for other roles in the Bank that are critical to ensuring continuity of service to our customers. Every effort will be made to ensure that employees on each team do not have physical contact with their colleagues on alternate teams or respective social networks.
We are operating from two different data centres, each with the capability to run the entire bank platform and protect our data.
We have put infrastructure in place and created recovery sites in different locations that will keep our institution protected in the unlikely event there is a complete breakdown.
Currently online and mobile banking makes more sense than ever before. It allows our customers to carry out their activity whilst practising social distancing. We are therefore increasing our sensitisation of these services to make sure everyone knows how to use them.
However, we realise that sometimes things need to happen in a physical location and customers will still visit our branches or offices. In this case we are taking the following steps to minimise potential spread of COVID-19:
Temperature checks at every point of entry to our locations
Hand sanitisers are provided inside and outside all our buildings
We have pre-arranged meeting rooms to ensure a safe distance between participants
We have appointed and trained health champions in all our locations to provide help and advice to our staff and customers
Deep cleaning by industrial cleaners is done daily in all locations with attention to high-touch surfa
Should there be any case(s) within any of our locations, such a location shall be handled in line with the requirements mandated by the public health authorities.