The global impact of COVID-19
The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to constrict economies and societies across the globe, negatively affecting the lives of billions. The profound health and economic impacts of the crisis — and the uncertainty it has brought —harm public health and safety, interrupt daily lives, disrupt business operations, exacerbate vulnerability, challenge national governments, and test international cooperation in unprecedented ways. While countries struggle to limit the spread of the virus, initial global panic and disarray has settled into the realisation that the impact of the pandemic will be felt for years to come, although felt unevenly among countries and groups. Research has already shown that women are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. To respond, the world will need to develop new tools and approaches to deal with the long-term presence of COVID-19 and to adapt to a “new normal”.
The financial sector must respond to the challenge
The global financial sector continues to face severe risks and challenges during this time. Financial institutions have adapted to environments of restricted movement, social distancing, strict hygiene and safety requirements, and increased reliance on digital channels. The economic consequences of COVID-19 have already challenged client repayments and lending, resulting in ailing portfolios and higher arrears. Remittance flows across borders have been significantly impacted as well.
At the same time, the COVID-19 situation has created an opportunity for flexible and proactive financial institutions to safeguard and continue operations, demonstrating their commitment to their economies, societies, and clientele. COVID-19 has also further revealed the benefits of strong client communication and process efficiency to financial institutions, providing a justification and impetus for institutions to make changes that will help them thrive in the long run.
IPC: providing continued support to financial institutions
IPC’s team of local experts working in-country and international experts supporting remotely have allowed IPC to leverage its crisis management experience and support a variety of types of financial institutions, including commercial banks, microfinance institutions, asset finance companies, development finance institutions, and impact investors.
IPC’s support continues to enable institutions to better manage the crisis, improve communications, manage portfolio quality, deal with liquidity challenges, strengthen data quality and security, enhance IT systems, manage human resources, and build capacity in the midst of COVID-19.
For more information about IPC’s work in this area, please see:
Crisis Management Presentation (English)
Crisis Management Presentation (French)
In addition, we believe that the following links could be helpful to financial institutions as they provide valuable resources and materials to respond to the crisis.
Financial institutions responding to the COVID-19 crisis – Why gender matters
COVID-19: cybersecurity challenges for financial institutions
Regional Small Business Programme (RSBP) series on stress testing basics for small business banks and MFIs
Bank for International Settlements Research on COVID-19
Basel Committee on Banking Supervision “Measures to reflect the impact of COVID-19”