Major Banks Offer Help to Those Hit by Superstorm Sandy

Although it’s sometimes hard to imagine big business as having a wealth of compassion, several large banks have shown some heart by helping their customers in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Immediately preceding the storm, as the forecast turned more dire, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America went into crisis mode and shut down many of their branches. Many of these banks are now taking measures to ease their customers’ minds during this chaotic time.

Here’s a list of the services being offered to people in the areas that Superstorm Sandy has ravaged:

  • Mobile ATMs. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are sending mobile ATMs to areas affected by Superstorm Sandy so that their customers can have access to cash. Also, TD Bank will send four self-powered mobile branches to the most devastated areas. Don’t get too excited though. These units won’t be giving out free money. Instead, these bankmobiles will be equipped with generators and cellular antennas so that customers can retrieve money from their own accounts.
  • Overlooking Late Fees. If your life has been turned upside down by Sandy and you’re going crazy because your credit card payment isn’t going to be on time, take a deep breath. If you’re a Chase, Wells Fargo or PNC customer, these banks have offered to waive late-payment and overdraft fees. Bank of America and Capital One, on the other hand, have been hard-nosed about waving any late fees resulting from nonpayment due to the effects of the storm. Instead, they will waive late fees on a case-by-case basis.
  • Social Media Support. Many banks reached out to their customers by using the powerful connectivity that social media provides. Both Capital One and TD Bank used their Facebook pages to provide their customers with links to information about emergency assistance services. Additionally, Citibank offered its customers assistance through a Twitter help page. Although these efforts allowed many customers to resolve banking quandaries, those without power could only access these pages with their smart phones – if they happened to be charged.
  • Donations, Donations, Donations. As expected, many large banks have made generous donations to help those in need after Superstorm Sandy. Wells Fargo and Bank of America have each donated $1 million to the American Red Cross and other relief efforts. TD Bank has donated $500,000, and BNY Mellon has also pitched in with a $500,000 donation and will match up to $500,000 of employee contributions. All of these funds will aid in rebuilding homes, businesses and lives after this storm.

The relief efforts made by these banks will make a great difference for those who have been impacted by Superstorm Sandy. If big corporations continue to extend assistance to the many customers who support their businesses, the country will have a better shot at recovering smoothly and swiftly from this devastation, and that’s why we salute these efforts.

If you want to help during this trying time, you can make a donation directly to the American Red Cross by visiting the organization’s Hurricane Aid site. The Huffington Post also gives some great advice about how to pitch in. We all should make an effort to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by Superstorm Sandy, and we’re heartened to see that corporations and banks are stepping up. Let’s take a cue from them.