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03:43 PM
Olivia LaBarre
Olivia LaBarre
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Major Banks Confident in Hurricane Irene Preparedness

Bank of America, Citi, HSBC and Wells Fargo representatives say that they're set to weather the storm that's set to strike the east coast of the U.S. during the weekend.

As people all over the east coast began bracing themselves for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, the editors at Bank Systems & Technology reached out to representatives from major banks to find out what they're doing to protect themselves from this potential catastrophe. Although the bank representatives couldn't reveal many details of their business continuity and disaster preparedness/response plans, especially related to protecting data, they expressed a fairly high level of confidence in their ability to protect assets and operations. Their official responses to the storm were all similarly assured:

"We have a plan in place to ensure information associated with the bank's transactions remain operational and secure throughout the foreseen period of extended challenges associated with hurricane Irene." -- Wells Fargo (San Francisco)

"Citi is committed to providing uninterrupted service to our clients during the storm and seeks to minimize any possible impact." -- Citigroup (New York)

"We are prepared to maintain service to our customers as long as it is safe to do so. We have contingency plans, backup systems and personnel in place to enable all our systems and operations to continue leading up to and after the storm. We continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to react accordingly." -- HSBC (New York)

Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.) uses an emergency notification and employee communication tool which notifies employees, provides necessary instructions and also confirms employees’ well-being in the event of emergency. "Every Bank of America business unit has a continuity plan, with details about alternate work locations, what to do in a site evacuation, and calling trees," says Kelli Raulerson, SVP, corporate communications for the bank. "We have backup systems and contingency plans in place to minimize any possible disruptions." In addition, the bank will quickly deploy mobile ATM units and mobile banking centers to serve the bank's customers if necessary in affected locations. Wells Fargo has an Incident Response and Recovery Support Team in place to ensure team member and customer safety, according to Ancel Martinez, spokesman for the bank. The team is holding ongoing calls to monitor the storm's progression, identify locations for generator placement, deploy extra security guards as required and work with vendors for sandbagging and boarding. In addition, says Martinez, Wells Fargo is stocking ATMS in potential impact areas with additional cash.

We'll check back in with these major banks to find out how they weathered the storm.

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