COVID-19 – Response Plan Update from BPAS

BPAS, as part of Community Bank System, Inc., continues to monitor events related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and stay vigilant in refining plans to ensure continuity of our business under various scenarios. This statement provides a brief update to clients and partners.

In recent weeks, investment markets have experienced significant downside volatility driven by several factors, including the global spread of COVID-19, global events in the oil market, and general market uncertainty. BPAS is actively monitoring the situation and its impact in various regions of the US. As part of our formal Business Continuity Plan (BCP), BPAS maintains a Pandemic Planning and Response Guide. Collectively, these plans contemplate a variety of possible business interruptions and outline action plans that would correspond to each event. The BCP plan is updated and tested routinely and is subject to ongoing review by internal and external auditors.

Through secure VPN and remote access, BPAS has a significant percentage of employees who are working from home for an extended period of time. For positions that require office access – primarily operations and IT functions – we have formulated a plan that involves many components. This plan includes a variety of mitigation and employee distancing measures at the level of each office, plus ongoing monitoring. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and the continuous operation of our business under these trying times.

BPAS has also taken steps to eliminate all business travel and meetings during this time. In addition, we have closed our lobbies and restricted travel between offices. We are embracing technology resources and are able to conduct many meetings via telephone and the internet which allows us to continue delivering uninterrupted service to our customer. We are cancelling all large participant face-to-face meetings until further notice. We have also asked our cleaning services to more intensely and more frequently sanitize all high-touch areas of our facilities.

Please know that BPAS takes these matters with the highest level of seriousness and we are monitoring the situation daily. We will post additional updates as necessitated by events. If you have further questions, please contact your BPAS Representative.

Published: March 20, 2020