In the first days, our imperative was to enable safe performance of payment operations i.e. of reception of incoming and execution of outgoing payments – and we succeeded
„Our Bank regularly suggests clients to use, as much as possible, e-banking and ATMs and informs them on all changes implemented due to this emergency state – from changes in working hours of branches, moratorium i.e. possibility for stoppage of debt repayment, to funds disposal possibility for persons of 65 or more years of age“ said Miloš Brusin.
How did you organize Bank’s business activities and communication with business partners and clients?
From the moment when Serbia declared state of emergency due to coronavirus pandemic disease COVID-19, we gave absolute priority to health preservation of our employees and clients, but also to preservation of operations continuity. For this reason, we promptly introduced first measures for prevention of virus spreading. All employees, whose presence in Bank’s premises was not necessary, are operating from their homes, especially ones belonging to the risky category. The hygienic level is maximally raised, providing safe environment to all persons present in the Bank. Following NBS suggestions, we changed the working hours of our branches, but maintaining at the same time the balance between health preservation of employees and services providing to our clients.
In the first days, our imperative was to enable safe performance of payment operations i.e. of reception of incoming and execution of outgoing payments – and we succeeded.
Owing to accessible technologies, we are able to electronically realize almost all communication. We communicate through phone calls, e-mails and video links with all associates, employees and with a large number of clients. Our Bank regularly suggests clients to use, as much as possible, e-banking and ATMs and informs them on all changes implemented due to this emergency state – from changes in working hours of branches, moratorium i.e. possibility for stoppage of debt repayment, to funds disposal possibility for persons of 65 or more years of age. Although the whole country is facing the state of emergency and very modified way of living, we managed to provide continuous, undisturbed and what is the most important – safe operating.
How important is that companies show their solidarity and give support, under the conditions of state of emergency?
Solidarity and conducting responsible business is generally very important, even in times not burdened by the serious health crises. Under such extreme and emergency circumstances like this one, solidarity of companies, active in the local market, can significantly contribute to finding ways for resolving problems and overcoming of consequences which we shall have to face in the period to come.
Health care systems of much bigger and wealthier countries than Serbia, were not able to deal independently with the situation caused by rapid spreading of the coronavirus. By giving financial support and providing medical equipment and materials to hospitals i.e. by giving support to our health care system, we have an opportunity to give our direct aid to life and health preservation of our citizens infected by the COVID-19.
Once this pandemic disease is suppressed and ended, this equipment will remain to be in continual use for the purpose of life saving of our ill citizens. I am very glad that support system in Serbia gives its effects and that many companies and individuals gave their contribution to this aim and I am especially proud to point out that Alta banka was one of the first who provided funds for purchase of respiratory equipment in amount of 3 million dinars and thereby helped the most jeopardized persons.
How do you spend your free time during these days burdened by the pandemic disease?
From the moment when state of emergency was declared, I have spent most of the time with my colleagues, focused at Bank’s operations. Current situation posed many challenges to the society and financial institutions have the task to enable funds disposal to their clients without obstacles.
As I have already pointed out, from the beginning of pandemic disease our priority has been to maintain continuity of operations and prompt reactions to our clients’ requests. This aim is ambitious even under the normal circumstances, but in times of global pandemic disease its achievement requires full dedication and very flexible working time.
Which are the first steps you will make after the state of emergency is lifted?
Once the pandemic disease is suppressed we shall face the significant task of analyzing the consequences to economy and creating adequate response to emerging problems. Alta banka has great experience in rendering expert assistance to legal entities and I believe that in the period to come, owing to this experience, generated through various development phases in the course of the last 40 years, our experts will be able to give adequate consultations and suggestions to clients, helping them thereby to minimize the negative outcomes of the pandemic disease and to continue with conducting profitable business.