After a tumultuous beginning of 2020 with COVID-19, growing concerns over civil unrest manifesting into riots are alarming many credit unions. During an already uncertain time, CUNA Mutual Group is keeping credit union abreast of risk mitigation steps that may be needed.
While having other types of safety processes and procedures in place are fairly common, many credit unions have not always accounted for or trained their employees on what to do in the
event of a riot. More than 20 credit unions have already incurred losses as a result of these recent riots including damaged property, destroyed ATMs, and loss of money.
Civil Unrest & Riot Preparedness:
The freedom to assemble, protest, strike, etc. is one of the rights that separates the
U.S. from many countries. Unfortunately, these peaceful gatherings may attract large
numbers of individuals and can quickly turn into violent, civil unrest.
Protests in major hubs such as Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New
York City, along with many more rural areas have resulted in fires, thrown objects,
looting, and damaged property including credit unions. In some locations, unrest
turned violent with personal injuries being the end result.
No credit union is immune to these types of occurrences and they can pose danger to
members, employees, and credit union property if not properly planned for. Even
though some credit unions may not yet be operating under full capacity as a result of
COVID-19 restrictions, credit unions should review safety measures for branch
locations and employee/member travel routes.
Ultimately, civil unrest can spark anywhere, but some locations are more predisposed
to this risk than others. As part of any standard branch risk assessment, you should
identify unique factors that might make that specific office location a more likely target.
Some increased risk factors may include, but are not limited to:
• Highly populated areas or downtown / urban location
• Proximity to universities and/or government agencies
• Near other businesses that may be more prone to protests
While the credit union may not be targeted, it may be in the vicinity of a protest in
progress, or in the path of a protest as it moves from one location to another. Maintain
an awareness of local events or incidents that may make conditions more likely for an
escalated situation to occur. Increased awareness levels will allow the credit union and
its employees to know, implement, and operate emergency action plans sooner.
Please read here for Risk Mitigation Tips.