Dear Shared Branch Clients and State Network Partners:
We have received a number of your inquiries regarding the Shared Branch Network operations, policies and procedures during this difficult time. CO-OP’s primary desire is for the network to continue to function and rely upon the participating credit unions to provide guest services for all members. However, we understand that in some situations, credit unions must make, or already have made alterations to their acquiring participation due to the severity of the situation in their local area. Following meetings with CO-OP Leadership and the Shared Branch Task Force, we would like to provide you with additional updates and information as we all work together to address concerns regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus.
Operating Rules and Regulations (ORRs):
Following an in-depth conversation with the Task Force members, a unanimous decision has been made that during this exceptional crisis, the network will empower each credit union to make their own decisions regarding branch operations and Shared Branch service offerings. As local conditions vary greatly and the situation may change significantly with short notice, we recognize the need for autonomy and respect your credit union decisions in order to help ensure the health and safety of credit union staff, members and the greater community at large. We understand that this situation will create variation in services and branch policy. Credit unions that suspend or limit service should clearly post signage at your locations.
We have received input from several credit unions that they are advising their members to use their home branch services, digital solutions, and ATMs as alternatives to the Shared Branch Network. We encourage everyone to adhere to federal, state and local official guidance regarding the best practices during this time.
A strength and benefit of the Shared Branch Network is to provide aid, assistance and continuity for fellow credit unions during times of crisis. For those credit unions that remain open, we encourage you to provide equal service to your members as well as guest members, where possible.
This suspension will remain in place until further notice. We will continue to monitor and update this guideline as the situation evolves and improves. We hope that this change will help in containing and defeating the global outbreak of COVID-19/Coronavirus, and look forward to resuming normal business operations.
Notification of Changes to Shared Branch Servicing/Operations & Shared Branch Locator:
To ensure members have the most accurate information about Shared Branch locations nationwide, we would like to ensure the Shared Branch locator remains updated as this will be a vital resource for the network and consumers. Please notify your local network immediately of any changes to your credit union’s Shared Branch servicing and operations, including branch/lobby closures, amended operating hours, and drive-thru services.
We ask that all credit unions follow the below process to communicate any changes with your local network.
Report any changes to Shared Cooperative Services via email at: email@example.com
Be sure to clearly specify the change (i.e. temporary branch closure, amended hours, limited service to drive-thru only, etc.) within your email.
- Changes in branch hours will appear on the Shared Branch Website and Mobile locator
- Changes in service where the Shared Branch service/location remains open will be noted on the website locator however, the notice cannot be displayed on the mobile locator app
- Updates/Messages will also be included on any locator API data calls. Some providers may not display the field. Each credit union should work with their provider if they desire to display the updates/messages. If assistance is needed with the API the credit union or their vendor may contact CO-OP Client Care at firstname.lastname@example.org and 1-800-782-9042, Option 3.
- If a branch is closed, or Shared Branch service is suspended, the location will be temporally removed from the locator. The location will no longer appear on the website locator or the mobile locator.
- Once service is restored, please notify Shared Cooperative Services via email at: email@example.com and the location will be added back to the locator.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Laura Heard @ 205.437.2131 or Laura Vann @ 205.437.2181.
As the situation remains fluid, we will adjust our approach, policies and procedures accordingly. We appreciate your continued support and thank you for being a valued member of the Shared Branch Network.
Dr. Kathy Snider