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Coronavirus will produce lasting changes to banking industry

Vaught’s note: With no scheduled high school or college sports, I want to share some other stories from time to time about situations impacting our communities during this time and hopefully also showcase some of the good things still going on daily despite the worries about so many unknowns.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Farmers National Bank in Danville has been my primary banking institution for about 55 years now and hopefully will be for many more years.

On WKYB-FM this week, Farmers National Bank CEO Greg Caudill explained some of the necessary changes that have been made to protect employees and customers.

“We are retooling a lot of things,” said Caudill. “Our new mottos is, ‘Open For Business Just Not Business as Usual.’ A lot of our colleagues are doing the same things and making the same adjustments as us. We all want to err on the side of caution.”

Banks are not closed. With Farmers, the lobbies are closed but drive-thru windows are open and needed appointments can be made.

“This is all difficult because nobody knows what is next,” Caudill said. “We are listening to our staff and gaining as much information as we can. Those who work on the front line can’t work at home. There are still a lot of ways to get money to folks and we are going to take care of our customers just like we always have. We are redeploying staff to hot spots to make sure our customers are taken care of.”

Rumors have circulated that some businesses might quit accepting cash to ease concerns over the coronavirus being passed that way.

“For years many have predicted the death of cash. It’s not happened,” Caudill said. “Cash is one of the dirtiest things you can handle. We tell our tellers to sanitize before and after handling cash. It was that way long before coronavirus. But we are taking every precaution you can for our employees and our customers.”

Caudill remains optimistic our economy will recover with some changes coming for the banking industry.

“Some ways we operate will forever change and sometimes that can be for the better,” Caudill said. “It’s too soon to tell what the lasting changes might be. You may not see big differences, but it will change.

“But one thing won’t change for us. We are going to continue to do all we can to help customers. We know tough times are coming for some. We are going to bend over backwards to help our customers any way we can. We have not been here for 141 years by turning our backs on our customers.”

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