You've been redirected from to In March 2021, Mobile Payments Today became a part of Payments Dive. For the latest payments news, sign up for the daily newsletter.

Regulators, banks plan for contingencies as customers rush for cash amid COVID-19

Government regulators and bank officials said they were prepared for various contingencies amid reports that consumers are making large cash withdrawals due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Federal Reserve last week took several steps to maintain liquidity in the system, and several reports indicated that some consumers had attempted large withdrawals from their personal accounts. 

"The Federal Reserve has plans in place to address a range of contingency situations," a spokesperson said via email. 

The New York Times reported last week that JPMorgan Chase customers at a midtown Manhattan branch had been stockpiling cash, and Bloomberg reported that customers in the Hamptons had been making requests to withdraw large amounts of cash. 

"Chase has enough cash available to meet the needs of our customers," a spokesperson said via email. "If they can't visit a branch, they can bank, invest and make payments from wherever they are in the Chase Mobile app or on"

Berkshire Bank in Boston said it had increased daily spending limits on debit cards for consumer and small business customers and had waived penalties on early withdrawals from CDs up to $20,000, according to a company release.

A spokesman for London-based HSBC said the bank, which operates globally with retail branches in the U.S., had not seen any change in cash withdrawal patterns. 

David Tente, executive director of the ATM Industry Association for the U.S., Canada and the Americas, said he had not heard any reports of consumers rushing for cash, but acknowledged that such a need could arise. 

"It would not be unusual in times of crisis to see that happen — people are going to rely on cash if they are concerned about being able to purchase what they need," he said.

A spokesperson for UK Finance, a trade association that represents the banking and financial services industry in Great Britain, said it had not seen any rush for cash withdrawals. 

Officials said the UK cash industry, however, had contingency plans in place to deal with a range of scenarios and was closely monitoring developments.

Cover image: iStock