Capital One and the Superstorm

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[1] BTN: How was Capital One impacted by the storm?

Taylor: We have a significant footprint in the Northeast; we have about 350 branches in the tri-state area. We were able to support customers with our online banking platform, which stayed up and running; and we were able to move employees around to centers that weren't impacted by the storm.

Our data center happened to not be in the New York area. All big banks have a geographic backup plan, and we had a pretty good experience with keeping our call center and online banking up.

 

[2] How did you reach out to customers?

In the storm zones, we changed hours where appropriate and communicated to customers digitally that we had gone into full business continuity mode.

 

[3] How did mobile RDC work during the storm?

We're still early in the game in terms of understanding how mobile played in this particular disaster.

I do know that on both the consumer and business side we had lots of customers accessing online banking via mobile devices. But we also saw activity on PCs and traditional [phone] access. There are people who, when feeling particularly stressed or in a dire situation, revert [to more traditional communication channels].

 

[4] What was one of the more interesting things that you ran into during the storm?

One of our customers is a school district that had a great disaster recovery plan [for administrative tasks], but the backup location turned out to be a home that was flooded during the storm. In the end, we had that district's [administrators] drive out to our office and initiate payroll from our computers.

Our biggest concern was trying to make things as normal as possible for our customers. And getting people paid was about as close to normal as we could make it for that school district.

 

[5] How were you affected by the storm?

I was actually traveling a bit and got stuck in Pittsburgh for a few days, trying to get back to New York. I live in a part of Brooklyn that was virtually untouched. We had power and heat, but if you went two miles down the road, it was a different story. I'm also the market president for [parts of New York], and on Saturday I spent time around Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. It was mind boggling to see the impact of the storm. You see pictures on television, but it's something else to see it in person.

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