Fundraising launched to help bankers, other Harvey victims

Register now

The banking industry is finding ways to contribute to recovery efforts tied to Hurricane Harvey.

The Independent Community Bankers of America has launched the Hurricane Harvey Community Bank Relief Fund. Donations will go to the “thousands of community bank employees and their families” impacted by the storm, the group said in a Monday press release.

The funds are being collected through Aircharity, a portal operated by MainStreet Bank in Fairfax, Va. The $644 million-asset MainStreet will cover service charges so that all donations go to support the relief effort.

Hilltop Holdings, the parent of the $9.9 billion-asset PlainsCapital Bank in Dallas, has pledged $50,000 to the Red Cross, a spokeswoman said Monday. The company is “committed to doing whatever we can with the recovery effort,” she said.

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase had already committed $1 million each to the recovery effort.

Texas Department of Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, meanwhile, has authorized banks to open temporary offices to serve customers while permanent locations remain closed due to severe conditions.

Cooper has identified 54 counties where banks can temporarily close. Banks have closed some locations indefinitely as they wait for flooding to recede and for employees to be able to safely get to their jobs. Management teams are also waiting to assess damage to branches.

“There’s hardship in Houston,” Norm Bagwell, CEO of Bank of Texas, said in an interview Monday. Bank of Texas branches, which are part of BOK Financial, weren’t damaged but are still closed because of impassable roads and other hurdles in downtown Houston.

“It’s likely to get worse before it gets better from a water perspective,” Bagwell said.

Penny Crosman contributed to this story.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Hurricane Harvey Community banking Regional banks Disaster recovery Crisis Management Branch network Texas