Seven Ways Credit Unions Can Plan for Unexpected Damage and Losses


The right to assembly is one of the greatest freedoms Americans enjoy, and the freedom to protest is one of the rights that separates the U.S. from other countries. While most of the recent gatherings have been peaceful, some have escalated to include vandalism and looting, putting credit unions in larger cities on alert.

While credit unions may not be the target of any unrest, they are also not immune to these occurrences.

More than 20 credit unions across the country have already incurred losses as a result of the unrest, including damaged property, destroyed ATMs, and loss of money.

Strategic Link partner, CUNA Mutual Group, has outlined several risk mitigation tips for credit unions that may be affected by current and future unrest.

  1. Evaluate if your branch locations are a potential target for looters. Credit union-owned vehicles, repossessed vehicles, and other property should be relocated from parking lots if possible. In addition, consider putting locks on dumpsters or outside trash areas.
  2. Review drive-up lanes and parking lots to determine if cars waiting for service could be trapped with no means of escape if approached by protesters.
  3. Speak with employees to determine their comfort level of reporting to work. Be conscious of employee concerns for their individual and family’s safety. Consider allowing employees to work from home.
  4. Encourage employees to be vigilant and watch for signs of trouble when in unfamiliar areas. Persons may find themselves in the middle of a civil unrest protest with little or no warning.
  5. If there is a concern about a particular known event, consider closing or revising the credit union’s hours, allowing employees and members to make their way home safely. If a threat materializes, appropriate lockdown procedures may be necessary as the credit union might serve as the safest place against the unrest.
  6. Follow standard protocol when it comes to building security. Conduct a thorough review of branch safety and security policies, including emergency exits, opening and closing procedures, active threats, and brief staff on these topics.
  7. Coordinate with local law enforcement on what a response might look like. Bear in mind that in the event of a civil unrest, local law enforcement response time may be delayed significantly.

View CUNA Mutual Group’s recent Risk Alert for more risk mitigation tips.

To learn more about CUNA Mutual Group, visit its Strategic Link page or contact Jason Smith, Vice President of Strategic Resources, at 208-296-6794.

Posted in GoWest Solutions, Industry Insight.