With more localities implementing stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Treasury Department has issued documentation that essential financial services employees can carry to demonstrate that they must go to work. The documentation should be accompanied by guidance last week from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency designating financial services as a critical infrastructure sector.
The essential critical infrastructure workforce for the banking sector includes workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services, such as payments, wholesale funding, insurance services and capital markets activities; workers needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, and to move currency and payments; and workers who support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers.
The American Bankers Association advises all bank employees designated as essential critical infrastructure workers to carry copies of these documents to show to local officials enforcing lockdown orders. ABA also recommends that banks provide employees with documentation on bank letterhead confirming that they are essential personnel.