Arkansas State Bank Department releases Covid-19 contingency plan
The Arkansas State Bank Department issued a “Coronavirus Contingency Plan” on March 11, with updates on March 16, March 18, and March 23. The communications instruct banks to promptly notify the Deputy Commissioner by email if branch facilities or markets must be closed and encouraged them to work with affected customer and communities. These efforts should include, among other things, waiving fees, increasing ATM cash withdrawal limits, easing restrictions on cashing checks, increasing credit card limits, and offering payment accommodations to assist members having payment difficulty. The guidance also noted that “prudent efforts” to modify loan terms would not be subject to examiner criticism, and institutions can ease their terms for new loans consistent with prudential banking practices. The Department also committed to work with affected institutions to reduce burden when scheduling examinations and inspections, utilize off-site reviews, and work with institutions experiencing difficulties fulfilling reporting requirements.