Messages to our customers affected by COVID-19
Update Thursday 21 May 2020
"There is no instruction manual for how to feel at a time like this." That statement from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon effectively sums up the last two months of our lives.
As we reflect on these past weeks, we can also take heart from watching the ways our world is coming together - from communities providing support to and acknowledging health workers, neighbours delivering groceries to one another, and companies pledging not to lay off workers. Today the human spirit is more connected than it is divided.
Through these very difficult times, we remain focused on our response to our customers, colleagues and communities and I want to share some details of what we are doing.
For our customers
Firstly, I'd like to thank you for your continued patience and support during this time, particularly for our Customer Service team who, despite reduced staffing levels have successfully dealt with a 40% increase in customer enquiries via the telephone, email and our online messaging service since the start of April. The team has increased our capacity to deal with our customers through electronic channels, with half of our interactions through email and secure messaging in April.
We know this is a unique crisis with new challenges every day and we are continually looking at ways to help you. We have already put a number of support measures in place to assist our customers.
Since launching the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes, I am pleased to say that we are already supporting customers with approximately £30m in CBILS loans. We are working around the clock to help as many business customers as possible with term loans and overdrafts through this scheme.
To help you manage your finances we would like to remind you that we are offering free personal overdrafts for three months and for those who are currently struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments, we may be able to help with a payment holiday of up to three months. For more information on the actions we are taking, please visit www.cynergybank.co.uk/covid19.
We also remind you to be extra vigilant at this time. We're aware that fraudsters are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to try to trick people into revealing personal or financial information.
For our colleagues
The wellbeing of our colleagues is extremely important to us and following strict government guidelines, we made a number of process changes focused on the health and safety of our teams. This included IT systems and processes to enable 90% of our colleagues to work from home.
For our communities
To support those who are most affected in the communities where we live and work, we donated £250 to the NHS on behalf of any employee who has an immediate family member or friends working in the front line e.g. hospital or GP practice. The funds are to help NHS teams however they want during this difficult time and so far, have been used to buy coffee machines for staff rooms; a team meal out when the crisis is over; hand cream and blankets for break rooms as well as donations to hospital charity appeals across the UK.
We believe that we can learn, change and adjust to emerge stronger than before and once we get there, we hope to usher in new ways of working to help our customers succeed and taking care of ourselves and each other. We still have a way to go and there is a lot of work left to do, but I am proud of my colleagues and have faith that when we put our minds to it, we are up to any challenge.
Update Friday 17 April 2020
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues, we understand that this may be placing challenges on many of our customers' day-to-day operations. We want to reiterate that we are doing everything we can to support all our customers during this period.
We are delighted therefore to inform you that we have been accredited and accepted into the British Business Bank Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme ('CBILs'). This means that we will be able to support eligible businesses who are experiencing financial difficulties. We are now working as fast as possible putting in place the operations required to start lending under this scheme and will be in touch shortly when we are ready to receive applications (we anticipate we can start in approximately two weeks). We know this will be welcome news for those business customers who desperately need help and we are pleased that this scheme will allow us to provide funding support during this unprecedented period. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager who will be happy to speak to you or host a video meeting.
For our mortgage customers, if you think you may struggle to make your monthly mortgage payments because of COVID-19, we may be able to help with a payment holiday of up to three months. Click here to find out more and to complete an application form.
Despite reduced staffing levels, we remain focussed on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect of us. We would also like to say thank you from all of us at Cynergy Bank - for the patience and ongoing support you have shown to all our colleagues despite the underlying worry and, thank you to our colleagues who continue to focus on providing excellent service and support under exceptional circumstances.
Update Friday 3 April 2020
By now we are all aware of the severity of COVID-19 and adjusting our personal and working lives accordingly. Our thoughts are with you and your families during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, we can all appreciate the importance of not only coming together to protect the communities that we are a part of, but also staying connected to each other.
It’s difficult to navigate the unknown, but as we all continue to better understand how to slow the spread of the virus, we will carry on doing what we can to keep our customers and colleagues safe.
We are focusing our attention and resources on making sure we do the very best for our customers and have already taken steps to support you financially:
- Releasing fixed rate funds early without penalties
- Increasing spending limits from £30 to £45 on contactless cards (some retailers may take some time to enable this increase)
- Continuing to stay in touch with Her Majesty's Treasury and the Bank of England regarding the measures announced to support SMEs in the UK
If you are a business customer and are facing material financial concerns, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager so we can explore how we can help you.
Whilst supporting customers is our key priority, we are also focused on keeping our colleagues safe and healthy. For those key employees who at times are working from our offices, we are regularly conducting deep-cleans of the premises and ensuring all government measures are in place including two-metres social distancing and providing on-site parking facilities where possible so they can avoid public transport.
Understandably though, we have fewer colleagues in our call centre, this is having a significant impact on call waiting times. To make managing your finances easier we recommend you contact us or use Online Banking where possible. Despite reduced staffing levels, we remain focussed on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect of us, and we thank you for your continued loyalty and patience whilst we try to respond to your enquiries.
During this time, we also want to support local communities where we live and work and have tried to identify the best ways to help where our colleagues can be integral to our efforts. As such, on behalf of all colleagues, we will be donating £250 to the NHS on behalf of any employee who has an immediate family member working in the front line e.g. Hospital or GP practice. The funds are to be used as needed to help their team during this difficult time. We are also exploring additional ways in which we can help and will keep you updated as we progress.
Update Wednesday 25 March 2020
Since we last updated you you the situation has continued to change and we therefore wanted to provide you with a further update and reassure you again that at Cynergy Bank we are 100% focused on the health and well-being of our customers, colleagues and communities. We are all very fortunate to work in a business that cares about people and cares about doing the right thing, which is more important now than ever. We continue to follow the latest government advice and take our responsibilities regarding COVID-19 very seriously.
Getting in touch
Due to reduced staffing levels and an increased number of calls, we are experiencing longer than usual waiting times on our Customer Service lines.
- For urgent enquiries we recommend you email us at email@example.com. This will enable us to deal with urgent matters more quickly. You can also continue to contact your relationship manager directly. If you have access to Online Banking you can send us a secure message.
- If you do not have access to email, you can call us on 0345 850 5555, please be aware there may be an extended delay in answering your call. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
- We are currently focusing our attention and resources on making sure we do the very best for our customers.
- We are continuing to stay in touch with Her Majesty's Treasury and the Bank of England regarding the measures announced to support SMEs in the UK and to understand how we can participate and support you further if needed. Please get in touch with your relationship manager so that we can explore how we can help you.
- If you face material financial concerns as a result of COVID-19, we can help you access your money held in Cynergy Bank fixed rate bonds and fixed rate ISAs. Just let us know you need help and we will release your funds early, without any penalties.
Keeping your money safe
- Please be extra vigilant at this time. We're aware that fraudsters are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to try to trick people into revealing personal or financial information. Cynergy Bank will never ask you for passwords or passcodes for your account or suggest you move money to a third-party account.
- As a UK Bank we are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our customers have the additional reassurance that eligible deposits with Cynergy Bank are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Finally, we are proud of our teams across the bank whose positive approach and resilience in these challenging times ensures we can continue to provide the excellent service and support you have come to expect from us and minimise disruption to the business services we provide. We thank you for your continued loyalty.
Update Friday 20 March 2020
We know these are worrying times for you and that you're probably trying to carry on as normal whilst doing your best to look after friends and family. With this in mind we wanted to outline the support we are providing to our customers and how we at Cynergy Bank are ensuring we can continue to provide you with the banking services you need during these unprecedented times.
We are taking our responsibilities regarding COVID-19 extremely seriously, and continuing to follow the latest government advice. We want to share the additional steps we are taking to continue our focus on keeping people safe and healthy; whilst supporting our customers:
- While our call centre remains open and you can continue to contact Customer Service on 0345 850 5555, or your Relationship Manager directly, we are experiencing a high number of calls. Please bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual to answer your calls during this time. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training. Where possible we advise you to use our online services before getting in touch.
- Our IT systems and other processes allow for a more flexible workplace and provide remote-work solutions. A large number of our employees that can work from home are already doing so and they can access the systems they need to process transactions and customer enquiries as if they were in the office.
- We have put restrictions on employee travel between offices and on all face to face meetings to reduce exposure to the virus and are reinforcing hygienic and safe behaviour in all environments, particularly in our offices that remain open at this time.
- We are working hard behind the scenes to put in place measures to minimise disruption to the business services we provide to you if we are all advised by government and health agencies of a lockdown situation and ensure your Relationship Manager and the Customer Services team will still be contactable. We can continue doing business through conference calls or video conferencing facilities.
- We of course welcome the measures announced recently to support SMEs in the UK. We are already in touch with Her Majesty's Treasury and the Bank of England to understand how we can support you if needed. In the interim, if you or your business have been affected by COVID-19 and face material financial concerns as a result, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager so that we can explore how we can help you.
In these difficult times, we remain focussed on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect of us, and we thank you for your continued loyalty.
If you have any further questions, please contact us or your Relationship Manager.
Update Tuesday 17 March 2020
With the impact of COVID-19 creating uncertainty, we would also like to reassure you that our customers, and the safety and wellbeing of our staff, remains our number one priority. We have robust plans in place to minimise disruption to the business services we provide to you. Therefore, you can focus on what is important to you at this time with the confidence that you have our support.
- We are monitoring the situation closely and taking the necessary steps to ensure we continue to provide customers with the services they need. This includes taking a range of precautions within our offices to reduce the risk of infection.
- In light of recent government advice, if you have a meeting scheduled at our offices with your Relationship Manager we will be contacting you to see if you would prefer to speak over the phone instead.
- Please note that whilst we will do our best to ensure business as usual in these unprecedented circumstances, we need to ensure we keep our people safe.
- Our call centre remains open, but customers may experience a longer wait time than usual. While you can contiue to contact us or your Relationship Manager if you have any questions, please bear with us if it takes a little longer than usual to answer your calls during this time. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training.
- We therefore recommend that you carry out day to day banking transactions using Cynergy Bank Online Banking. Where possible, please use our online services before getting in touch.
- Finally, if you or your business have been affected by COVID-19 and face material financial concerns as a result, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager so that we can explore how we can help you.
If you have any further questions, please contact us or your Relationship Manager.