Here is the definitive timeline exploring coronavirus (Covid-19) from its initial outbreak to today, taking a precise look on its effects on financial services.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated a host of measures aimed at minimising the damage from covid 19.
The Indian central bank announced the stimulative measures just hours after Moody’s Investors Services slashed India’s growth for 2020 from 5.3% to 2.5%.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided by a 4-to-2 majority to reduce the benchmark policy interest rate (repo rate) by 75 basis points to 4.4%.
American Express has launched a donation matching programme to help local communities in the US impacted by COVID-19.
Through Amex’s Membership Rewards programme, card members can use their points towards a donation to Feeding America through JustGiving.com. Amex will match the dollar amount of each donation – up to $1m in total donations.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has pledged to provide up to UD$60bn to support more stable USD funding conditions in the city-state and island country.
The new MAS US-dollar funding facility will aim to facilitate lending to businesses in the country and the region. The move will contribute to global efforts by central banks to maintain stability and normal functioning of financial markets.
Bought By Many has announced that customers will not invalidate their cover if they are unable to attend regular vet check-ups and appointments due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The insurance provider requires that pets have annual check-ups a dental check-up every 12 months and vaccinations.
Separate bills in the US House of Representatives and Senate propose creating so-called digital dollars and the accounts that would hold them, in order to blunt the shock of the coronavirus shutdown.
Supporters of the legislation claim the Fed digital dollar accounts would help speed up payments to households that need support. They say the US government currently lacks adequate infrastructure to distribute coronavirus-related payments as widely as needed.
Banking fintech Revolut has partnered with the Trussell Trust food network to support vulnerable families during COVID-19.
Revolut has added an in-app donation button, allowing customers to round up any spare change and donate the difference. Customers can also set up a recurring payment of any amount, or make a one-off donation.
Large banks have begun to cut back on their retail operations in the US, in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus while keeping critical banking services like accessing deposits available to customers.
Citigroup is latest bank to announce widespread branch closures, temporarily shuttering up to 15% of its U.S. branches amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Australian investment manager AMP has withdrawn its outlook for 2020 due to the market turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the firm stressed that its capital position and liquidity continue to be strong.
The coronavirus pandemic has been the catalyst for global stock markets to crash. Declines in the FTSE 100 are mirroring the 2008 financial crash and wealth managers will be put to the test this year. But modelling from the global financial crisis and forecasts for 2021 suggest a bounce back in 2021, particularly for those that can stay invested in the market.
The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has urged Indians to use digital payments to reduce social contact, minimising the spread of COVID-19.
Through social media, NCPI has ran a campaign over the past few days encouraging people to make digital payments. It is also urging users to make UPI (unified payment interface) payments.
The UK financial watchdog is encouraging banks to take steps to facilitate consumer access to cash–such as waiving fees for individual savings accounts (ISAs) and allowing customers to end their term deposits early.
“We are working with the Bank of England and the Payment Systems Regulator to understand problems consumers may have accessing cash, and ensure the UK learns the lessons from other countries’ experience of coronavirus,” the FCA says.
President Macron secures a €5bn investment to help the country’s start-ups survive the coronavirus pandemic and maintain cash levels in between their fundraising.
French insurers and asset managers have pledged €5bn in investment for home-grown tech firms. The undertaking is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s push to nurture France’s fledgling start-ups into a cohort of highly valued heavyweights
CaixaBank has launched a number of initiatives to support its customers and community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the initiatives, CaixaBank has cancelled rent payments on the homes it owns and launched an online volunteering programme to support the vulnerable. The two initiatives are part of the bank’s #WithYouMoreThanEver programme.
The government support package designed to help fight the economic impact of coronavirus—which includes £330bn in loans—is the biggest intervention in private sector business since the Second World War.
But if it doesn’t hit the target it’s of limited use, critics have argued.
The medical effects of COVID-19 on Australia are still building, with caseloads rising and likely to continue doing so for some time. GlobalData examines the effects of the global financial crisis (GFC) for clues as to the impact on banks and the financial health of the nation, with implications not just for Australian banks but all mature banking markets facing down a COVID-19 recession. While still early days, indicators are that short-term bank profits will plummet, loan growths will stall, impaired loans will begin to rise, and the industry will see further consolidation.
Former presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have introduced a bill that would bar banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions from charging overdraft fees until the coronavirus crisis is over.
The two lawmakers are pushing for the measure to be included in the federal relief package that is currently pending in the US Senate.
America’s biggest banks have asked the federal government to give them some regulatory relief to better enable them to weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bank Policy Institute, an advocacy group representing America’s leading banks, would like to see lower capital requirements and the easing of banks’ periodic stress tests.
With the Covid-19 outbreak, there are a number of factors of which financial institutions, including private banks, need to be wary. Financial crime and cyber crime is something that could very feasibly spike in the time of coronavirus. The CEO of ThetaRay comments.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon) has announced that due to coronavirus, the location of its stockholder meeting will be moved online.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the annual meeting will be held solely by remote communication in a virtual only format.
Coronavirus has truly arrived in the UK with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson all but announcing an absolute lockdown. People are expecting coronavirus to have a huge affect on the pound, but UBS believes that it will be rough, but it will recover.
After decades of rising capital requirements, UK banks are confident that their balance sheets are strong enough to withstand the hit of coronavirus, Britain’s big lenders tell investors.
The underlying health of Britain’s financial system is sound, senior bank executives say, and the supporting measures introduced by the Bank of England over the past two weeks gives them greater assurance.
After closing 1,000 of its roughly 5,000 branches this week, JPMorgan Chase has decided to reward its front-line employees for their efforts amid the flu-like pandemic. Employees will get the one-time payment in two $500 instalments to be paid out in April and May.
All full- and part-time staff who have to do their jobs from an office or branch, and who make less than $60,000 a year or are based at a consumer banking branch, are eligible to receive the payments.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has written to companies planning to release results and asked them to delay the publications.
All firms planning to release results in the next few days have been recommended to observe a moratorium for at least two weeks, due to complications arising from coronavirus.
South Africa’s Investec has said that it anticipates an up to 23% hit on its annual profits due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The wealth management group, which is already affected due to dull growth in South Africa, said that the outbreak will significantly impact the fourth quarter performance.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has recalibrated regulatory priorities to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 outbreak.
The move includes suspending activities which are not time-critical as well as halting enhanced on-site supervisory work.
The regulator will focus on time-critical matters, violations and addressing risks to market integrity and consumers.
Global economies are collapsing due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the number of cases continues rising globally, forcing governments to take strict action, markets where investors lean heavily on stock market-driven investments will suffer the most.
As of March 23, the number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 330,000, predominantly in China but increasingly in Europe and the Americas as well. Unfortunately, only a small number of countries have been able to avoid the medical tragedy, and none will be able to avoid the brutal economic impact of this pandemic, meaning a global recession is now on the cards. However, the composition of each market’s retail investment portfolio will shape the initial impact and determine how wealth managers should react.
British wealth manager Quilter has donated £100,000 ($116,000) to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) coronavirus appeal through its charity foundation.
The NET was launched by Prince William in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
With this donation, Quilter seeks to encourage other industry stakeholders to contribute to the fund.
Uinsure has partnered with financial tech businesses eKeeper group, 360dotnet, Twenty7Tech and Iress to support businesses struggling with remote working. They will also promote their online presence during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Washington Trust, a firm that focuses on retail banking and wealth management, has revealed its Covid-19 initiatives.
To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of its employees, customers, and community, the bank has revealed a number of measures.
Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh today announced a small business relief package from Australia’s banks.
As the world faces unprecedented challenges for the worldwide epidemic, America’s second largest bank said the donation will provide support to the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Specifically, the funds will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, and increase access to learning as a result of school closures.
Goldman Sachs has closed two floors in Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Center office and asked the employees there to work from home after one of them was suspected of having coronavirus (Covid-19).
The employee, suspected of being a “highly probable” Covid-19 case, is part of the bank’s Investment Banking Division (IBD) and worked on the 60th floor of the office.
As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, credit card companies are offering relief by waiving fees and allowing customers to skip payments.
Faced with the growing financial distress of their individual and business clients, the banks are shifting their immediate priority from repurchasing their own stocks to extending loans to their customers.
According to the Financial Services Forum, an industry trade group, eight members would halt share buybacks through 30 June.
Swiss banking group Credit Suisse has said that its Q1 2020 profit has improved so far in spite of the turbulent market conditions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm revealed that its return on tangible equity exceeds 10% for the first two months of 2020.
HSBC is looking to increase the number of Greater China billionaire customers by three-fold over the next three years. This is set to instil confidence into an economy grappling with uncertainties caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Aetna International will provide all its members with free access to its virtual health offering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The solution, vHealth, is being distributed to help ensure continuous access to health care in the middle of the outbreak.
Many of the City of London’s biggest institutions are taking decisive action to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
London banks are ramping up their efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The flurry of new measures by some of the world’s biggest banks comes in the wake of events that took place at HSBC a couple of weeks ago.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 180,000 people across the globe, with over 1,500 confirmed cases in the UK. Coronavirus will have a direct impact on the population’s physical health over the coming months, but people’s mental health will also suffer.
In an effort to minimise the spread of the virus, the UK government has encouraged social distancing practices, including avoiding pubs and theatres, while also encouraging people to work from home where possible. While these measures are important in reducing the spread of the disease, minimal social interaction could have an impact on someone’s mental health and wellbeing during this time.
Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank are working together to provide financial relief to Canadians impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19.
At the same time, the country’s major banks will temporarily close a number of bank branches to support industry-wide social distancing.
ING has taken steps to ensure the wellbeing of employees and the continued support of customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Initial precautionary measures include guidance on hygiene, the provision of hand sanitisers in ING buildings, and additional cleaning of offices. The Dutch bank has also deferred all business and travel meetings, unless absolutely critical.
Furthermore, ING has split its operations meaning that some staff are working from home or remote locations.
Pandemics are not unusual in human history and COVID-19 will most likely not be the last one. However, it is one of the few – and the farthest-reaching – to have developed in our age of digital consumer capitalism.
As governments urge consumers to self-isolate at home for the forseeable future, people are shifting their purchases to e-commerce services. GlobalData Financial Services writes
As the coronavirus continues its rampage across the financial markets, Finablr, the owner of Travelex, has asked advisers to prepare for a possible insolvency, paving the way for the end of a company worth more than £1bn last year.
Reeling from the shock of the fast-spreading pandemic, the cash-strapped Finablr is considering insolvency as a solution to its financial distress.
The company says its board has engaged an accounting firm “to undertake rapid contingency planning for a potential insolvency appointment” with a view to maximising value in the group.
Financial advisory organisation deVere has launched contactless financial advice as social distancing has accelerated globally.
The deVerve group, which operates in over 100 countries worldwide, is launching its Contactless Advice service with immediate effect.
The advice follows the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday, recommending the nation to avoid “unnecessary” social contact where possible.
Banks are increasingly encouraging the use of their online and mobile banking, as more customers are seeking ways to avoid public places amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Several banks have sent reminders to customers touting their digital banking facilities and urging customers to use them.
With Covid-19 sweeping across Europe, governments have acted by enforcing restrictive measures, such as banning gatherings in many public and private spaces.
GlobalData’s 2019 Banking and Payments Survey has found that the European states most affected by the virus have significant numbers of consumers who typically access essential banking services by branch.
Findings from GlobalData’s 2019 UK Insurance Consumer Survey indicate that trip cancellation is the second most popular reason to claim on a travel insurance policy. Some insurers have looked to protect themselves from a spike in these claims due to the spread of coronavirus. However, it is unlikely they will get off lightly. Travel insurance is going to receive a lack of trust after coronavirus.
Banks across the Asia Pacific region appear to have pushed the panic button, closing a record number of job postings due to Covid-19.
GlobalData’s Job Analytics, shows that the start of March saw a spike in listed banking jobs being closed, with over 1,200 closing in one week – more than twice the typical 500. Newly posted jobs were also down to less than 300 positions.
Matt Crane, MD of WeSwap, said: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow everyday. In an attempt to reduce its spread, we are seeing companies promote contactless transactions in lieu of cash payments, which studies suggest are more likely to carry the virus.
“The virus has also had a significant impact to financial markets, affecting the value of the pound against other currencies. Subsequent events, such as the Budget’s response to this crisis, as well as the United State’s travel ban have made exchange rates even more unpredictable.”
Mihir Kapadia, CEO of Sun Global Investments, said: “European equities are off to another brutal start on Monday, with major markets nosediving at the open. The German DAX is down by more than 6%, the French CAC 40 down by more than 7%, pan European Stoxx 600 down by more than 6% and the UK’s FTSE 100 down more than 7.3%. Travel, retail and leisure sectors are dragging the markets down as business brace for severe impact due to the recent nationwide cancellations and lock-downs.”
Deutsche Bank is set to operate globally in split teams in an effort to limit the impact of deadly coronavirus.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said his banks is ready to help out customers impacted by the virus outbreak with payments deferrals on mortgages and credit cards.
The head of America’s second largest bank, who met with President Trump last week, said the pandemic is a common enemy that has united the world in a war to defeat the disease. He said the banking industry is ready to do its part.
AIB has suspended its earlier decision to impose a fee on contactless card transactions due to coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
Last week, the bank announced that it will charge one cent per contactless transaction from the end of May 2020.
Frédérique Carrier, Head of Investment Strategy, RBC Wealth Management, explains how the markets are shifting in Europe and fiscal stimulus is likely.
Investec abandoned its plan to offload a 10% stake in its asset management business NinetyOne owing to the hit on stock markets heightened by the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The stake sale offer was part of the listing of NinetyOne.
Investec will now retain a 25% holding in the asset management business, instead of the planned 15%.
The firm warned of an uncertain 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The firm also warned of difficulties in the current year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
“2020 began well but the sharp Coronavirus induced market correction beginning in late February has created a level of uncertainty as to the outlook for the remainder of 2020.”
Mortgage lenders across the UK announced plans to allow people affected by the coronavirus outbreak to defer mortgage and loan repayments.
Several UK banks will offer loan repayment holiday to support homeowners affected by the coronavirus. The so-called coronavirus holiday will be extended on a case-by-case basis, and the length of the repayment suspension will likely vary from bank to bank.
The UK 2020 Budget may not look like it will affect the private banking sector heavily, but there are certain factors. Experts also claim coronavirus affected plans.
Coronavirus continued to create stress across financial markets worldwide. Of particular interest now is the UK budget and if coronavirusaffected it. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak may have had to make some last minute changes inlcuding a surplus.
The European Central Bank (ECB) asked the majority of its 3,500 staff in Frankfurt to work from home in order to measure its coronavirus (COVID-19) preparations.
The ECB is keen to test how it could deal with a shutdown over rising coronavirus concerns.
Mastercard closed its office located in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and an annex office in New York after one of its employees tested positive for coronavirus.
The infected employee is based in Brazil and had recently visited the annex site in Purchase, New York, which is in proximity to its New York base.
The two locations are currently being sanitised.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) was set to cut 230 people from its headcount across its private bank and advice business in order to cut costs and build profitability.
Extreme pressure on the banking industry along with record-low interest rates are said to be the key factors triggering the downsizing exercise.
However, the adverse effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the economy is also said to have played a major role in the decision.
HSBC sent more than 100 employees home after a worker from the research department tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
JPMorgan Chase asked thousands of its employees to work from home in order to measure its coronavirus preparations.
Dubbed Project Kennedy, about 10% of 127,137 employees across JPMorgan’s consumer banking division have been requested to work remotely.
UBS has imposed a ban on non-essential international travel by employees to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Employees of the bank would now require special nod for travel.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advised consumers to switch to contactless payments as banknotes may be aiding the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
WHO said people should wash their hands after touching currency notes as the virus may stick to the surface for a number of days.
During circulation, currency notes change hands thousands of times and hence can accumulate all types of viruses and bacteria.
American banking giants asked their employees to not undertake any international travel for nonessential business in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
Banking groups that have curbed international travel without prior approval include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.
Visa warned of its revenue getting hit in Q2, with overseas spending waning in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The firm said that its revenue growth will be around 2.5-3.5 percentage points less than its earlier prediction.
A recent survey by the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS) has revealed that the majority of Singapore’s asset managers are suspending travel to China and deferring their events following the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
Mastercard lowered its revenue outlook for Q1 2020, saying that the adverse impact of the coronavirus outbreak on cross-border e-commerce and travel could dent its quarterly performance.
Coronavirus continues to spread, now hitting Italy, but are investments recovering?
The Financial Services Agency in Japan started an emergency survey on the country’s banks with a China presence to gain insight into how credit costs may get affected amidst the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
To combat the spread of deadly coronavirus, China’s central bank urged banks to disinfect used notes and isolate them for up to 14 days.
According to WHO, coronavirus can be spread through contaminated objects in addition to droplets and direct contact with infected patients.
Currencies across the Asia-Pacific region suffered a hard blow from coronavirus as the epidemic continues to clobber the Chinese economy, disrupting supply chains.
The impact of the coronavirus has spread outside China to economies heavily reliant on the Asian giant, from Australia and Thailand to South Korea and Singapore.
Singapore’s largest Bank, DBS, evacuated 300 staff after confirming that one employee has contracted the coronavirus.
All 300 employees on level 4 of the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) have been dismissed and will work from home until further notice, the bank said.
Several major banks, from HSBC to Standard Chartered to UOB, closed outlets in China, Hong Kong, and Macau, due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
HSBC shut 24 branches, Standard Chartered 18, and UOB has closed many outlets in China and Hong Kong. UOB has also halted or postponed large-scale internal meetings and public gatherings in Singapore.
UOB is the latest major bank to close or suspend operations in the area. In a statement, the bank apologises for any inconvenience the Kwun Tong temporary closure may cause. It referred customers to its other outlets in the city.
The coronavirus outbreak spread into Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD), with two employees found to be infected, and staff from major firms being told to work from home.
As two cases of coronavirus emerge in Singapore’s CBD, companies have stepped up temperature screening of staff and visitors as well as daily sanitation of offices.
Hundreds of Chinese companies were seeking bank loans totalling at least CNY57.4bn ($8.2bn) to be able to deal with the shock of the coronavirus epidemic.
More than 300 firms, including some of China’s largest companies, are seeking new funding that would enable them to manage the coronavirus outbreak.
HSBC Bank has said it would extend HK$30bn ($3.9bn) of additional liquidity relief, to help struggling businesses ride out the coronavirus outbreak that has already killed one person and infected 36 others in Hong Kong.
HSBC joins other banks operating in Hong Kong that easing borrowing terms to help companies that are reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.
Bank of Japan board member Takako Masai said that the global economy is on track for a rebound around mid-year and that the coronavirus outbreak does not warrant an immediate expansion of stimulus.
While acknowledging that the coronavirus epidemic represents a major risk to the global economy and may hurt Japanese business sentiment, Masai expects manufacturing to pick up and lead to a rebound in the global economy.
She reiterated the BOJ’s position that the Japanese economy will expand moderately due to strong capital expenditure and an increase in global manufacturing expenditure.
Undeterred by the ongoing coronavirus, the Swiss multinational has met its target set in 2016 to double headcount in China to 1,200 well ahead of schedule.
UBS has doubled its overall staff size from 2016’s 600 to 1,200 ahead of its 2022 plan. As China cracks open its financial markets to foreigners, demands for local securities and dealmaker services increase, and the bank sees an opportunity to tap a massive domestic market.
The Bank of Thailand decided to cut rates by 25 basis point to 1.00% amid growing concerns that the coronavirus outbreak could hinder economic performance.
The Thai economy would expand at a slower rate in 2020 than previously forecast and much further below its potential due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Bank of Thailand said.
China’s central bank increased efforts to mitigate the impact of deadly coronavirus outbreak on the economy.
The disease, which originated from Hubei province, has already killed 638 people with fatalities jumping every day. As of 6 Feb 2020, the number of confirmed cases stood at 31,428.
HSBC revised an earlier directive and extended the ban on its staff from travelling to Hong Kong to 2 March 2020.
The Chinese central bank unveiled plans to infuse RMB1.2 trillion ($173bn) to ensure banks’ in the country don’t fall short of liquidity when the country is fighting against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will pump the funds through open market operations.
UnionPay is set to enable cross-bank cash withdrawals without imposing any service charge in Hubei, which is the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The company intends to pay back service charges in proportion for nationwide payments to small and micro businesses through UnionPay QR code.
Participating galleries have urged organisers to cancel the eighth edition of Hong Kong Art Basel, a privately owned and managed international art fair, owing to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Art Basel’s lead sponsor UBS recently asked their employees in Hong Kong to work from home after China visit.
The eighth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong is scheduled to be held in March this year, with around 241 galleries from 31 countries among the participants.