In an email to member CEOs yesterday, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols urged banks to adopt and publicly announce a policy requiring anyone entering a bank branch to wear a mask or face covering.
Nichols argued that universal masking in bank branches would protect employees’ and customers’ health and reduce transmission of the virus. And with COVID-19 cases on the rise in many states, and with businesses, workers and consumers hoping to avoid a new round of lockdowns, Nichols cited bank research suggesting that nationwide mask use could prevent shutdowns that could otherwise reduce GDP by 5%.
Publicly announcing this policy would also help frontline employees as they engage with customers and branch visitors, Nichols added, helping to reduce the chances of confrontations. Nichols noted that this decision was made with the support of ABA’s Executive Committee and in consultation with ABA staff experts on risk management and viral transmission.