ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols on Tuesday called on bankers to join ABA in supporting the response to Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast and invited them to contribute to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by the Texas Bankers Association (TBA) and the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT).

ABA and its subsidiaries will contribute $100,000 to the fund, which will provide relief for people displaced by the storm, including bank employees and their families. Contributions to the fund are tax-exempt, and TBA and IBAT are absorbing all credit card processing fees to ensure 100 percent of funds reach those in need. ABA will also match its own employees’ contributions to Harvey relief efforts.

“It will come as no surprise to you that the industry’s response to date has been caring, generous and committed,” wrote Nichols in an email to bank CEOs nationwide. “I have no doubt all banks whose customers have been harmed by Hurricane Harvey will make a priority of helping them through this difficult time.” He cited a wide range of responses, from community banks that have opened mobile branches to institutions waiving service fees to million-dollar relief pledges from large nationwide banks.

"Like Rob, I too have received inquires from bankers wondering what they here in South Dakota might do to help bankers who lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Harvey," said SDBA President Curt Everson. "To the extent that any bank or banker would like to make a contribution to help in relief efforts, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by the TBA and IBAT is one way to facilitate a financial contribution."

Nichols also pointed to several ABA resources for banks dealing with the storm, including constant coordination with federal, state and local authorities through the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center to ensure the banking system continues to function, as well as communications resources for banks on the front lines of disaster.

With cleanup efforts beginning to get underway and many communities still experiencing heavy flooding along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, ABA SVP Doug Johnson discussed the status of the banking industry yesterday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” An estimated 1,000 bank branches have been affected by the hurricane.