United Community Bank has announced they are reopening lobbies for select branch locations across their four-state footprint, effective this week. United closed its lobbies on March 24 in response to CDC recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19. Since that date, all branches have operated a drive-thru service model with appointment-only lobby service.
Beginning Wednesday, June 17, more than thirty branch lobbies in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee will reopen, with specific safety measures in place to protect employees and customers. These initial branches represent Phase 1 of the lobby reopening for United. Other branch locations will follow in the weeks to come and an up-to-date list of current branch operating status is available at ucbi.com/coronavirus. United opened five branch lobbies the week of June 8 to test preparedness and gauge sentiment from customers and employees.
“Our goal is always to take care of our employees and customers and that includes taking precautions for everyone’s safety,” said Keri Wise, Head of Retail Sales. “We recently surveyed our customers to understand their expectations for in-branch banking in our new pandemic normal. We were pleased to find out that the majority of respondents said they look forward to banking in our branches as soon as we reopen our lobbies.”
United also surveyed employees to learn of any concerns about reopening the lobbies. After reviewing the feedback from both customer and employee surveys, United has taken the following precautions:
- Installation of protective shields for desks and counters.
- Increased signage to promote physical distancing and other safety measures.
- Increased cleaning frequency and supplies at all locations.
- Limited customer capacity in lobbies.
“We are taking a phased approach to reopening our lobbies so that we can consider any feedback from Phase 1 and potentially incorporate that into our subsequent lobby re-openings. I am so grateful for our United employees who, throughout the last several months, have been committed to helping our customers navigate these unusual times,” said Wise. “Now, we are happy to welcome our customers back into our lobbies and reconnect with them. Today, more than ever, it is important for our customers to know that we are a trusted resource to help them with their financial needs.”
Customers are encouraged to use drive-thru and ATM services when possible to continue practicing physical distancing.