Agencies issue guidance for financial institutions affected by Hawaii wildfires

Federal and Hawaii state regulators today issued a joint statement pledging to provide appropriate regulatory assistance to financial institutions affected by the recent wildfires. At the same time, they encouraged institutions operating in affected areas to meet the financial services needs of their communities.

The agencies—which include the Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC—said that prudent efforts to adjust or alter terms on existing loans for customers in affected areas are supported by the agencies and should not be subject to examiner criticism. They also recognized that many financial institutions face staffing, power, telecommunications and other challenges in re-opening facilities. “In cases in which operational challenges persist, the primary federal and/or state regulator will expedite, as appropriate, any request to operate temporary facilities to provide more convenient availability of services to those affected by the Hawaii wildfires,” they said. At the same time, they noted that institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments or services that revitalize or stabilize federally designated disaster areas.

The American Bankers Association this week announced it was donating $25,000 to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund to assist with immediate disaster response and recovery, and it is encouraging bankers to consider doing the same. The ABA donation follows a similar contribution from its alliance partners at the Hawaii Bankers Association.