Thrust into maelstrom again, Hunt steadies helm at CBA

News

Richard Hunt

rhunt@consumerbankers.com
April 24, 2020

On Tuesday, March 10, President Trump emerged from talks with U.S. senators on ways to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, and said, “Just stay calm, it will go away.”

Consumer Bankers Association CEO Richard Hunt heard a different tune the following day, when he met with Trump and other banking industry executives at the White House. On returning to CBA headquarters, he gathered staff and told them to come to work on Thursday, but to pack up what they needed to begin working from home on Friday, March 13. It was not until Monday that the president would issue social distancing guidelines.

“At times, we are communicating to membership what’s going on,” he said. “But most of the time, it’s just the membership talking to each other. When we started with these calls, the big issue was how often to sanitize and clean branches. That went into branch operations—how do we shut down a branch? Do we keep the drive-thru open? That morphed into the PPP and economic stimulus rollout. We keep trying to identify the next issue around the corner so we can be prepared for that.”