Former high school Spanish teacher Jennifer Chandler became Bank of America’s Dallas market president in January 2019. Locally, the financial giant employs 13,500 and operates 138 financial centers.
Did your business continuity plan work, or were there surprises?
“We are successfully implementing our business continuity plans and are continually monitoring the situation and coordinating with global, regional, and local authorities and health experts. We’re focused on supporting the health and safety of our teammates and clients while continuing to provide access to the important financial services on which these clients rely.
“Our clients have access to financial resources so they can continue to manage their needs with 24/7 access to our mobile and online banking tools; virtual connectivity to advisers, bankers, and specialists through our mobile app or dedicated client teams; and the option to visit our financial centers, which remain open. With news changing so quickly, we’re providing market and investing information through a daily audio podcast featuring our Chief Investment Officer, BofA Global Research, and other guest speakers.
“Additionally, we are reaching out to clients to offer guidance and insight, and we’re deferring payments on credit cards, small business loans, auto loans, mortgages, and home equity loans for clients who are impacted by the coronavirus. (More information is http://www.bankofamerica.com/coronavirusavailable here.)
“To help support an increase in client interactions, we’ve added 2,000 new teammates across the enterprise, and we’ve announced we will not do layoffs or job reductions in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus impacts.”
Do you have advice for other local companies?
“Local businesses facing hardship should reach out to their financial relationship manager. If you think you may have an issue with an upcoming payment, have a conversation with your lender as soon as possible about your concerns; don’t wait for the payment to be due.
Overall, it’s important to remember that beyond the numbers, facts, and figures being thrown at us, there are real businesses, real families, and real people dealing with hardships. In times like this, we need to be there for each other, and everyone—including the private sector—needs to step up and provide relief to those impacted.”
Have you found silver linings in these difficult times?
“The current crisis offers the opportunity to learn to be versatile, acquire new skills quickly, collaborate, make confident decisions, and act with speed.
“Technology is truly helping us serve individuals, families, and businesses during this difficult time, with our clients taking advantage of our digital offerings in record numbers. These solutions make life easier for clients to focus on other more pressing matters, such as supporting a child’s education, with schools being closed.
“Another silver lining has been our collaboration with North Texas nonprofits, which have rallied to meet the needs in our communities. We have supported 36 nonprofit organizations in Dallas-Fort Worth with $1.86 million in grants aimed at preventing displacement and providing access to food and shelter.
“Many of us have never faced such adversity in our lifetimes. Let’s all look for the rewards during this time.”