A Message from our President on COVID-19
March 16, 2020
These are unprecedented times. It is quite chaotic in the financial markets and even everyday life. I want to assure you that FHLBank Topeka is committed and ready to provide you with the liquidity you need to serve your customers through all sorts of situations. We have provided you funding in the good as well as the difficult times since 1932. And we are prepared to do so during this uncertain time with the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This message details some of the steps we’re taking to address the COVID-19 situation and to explain how we’ll continue to support you as we move forward.
We remain confident in our ability to deliver our products and services uninterrupted. We have activated our business continuity plan, including our pandemic plan, to ensure our operations continue to run smoothly. This includes implementing the contingencies we have in place to deal with any potential disruptions throughout the markets and with our members.
We are ready to serve member needs
FHLBank is prepared to continue serving members should the situation worsen. We have enough available staff to execute transactions on behalf of your institution.
- We regularly test our business resiliency capabilities and are preparing to run our business operations from multiple sites, including our Business Resumption Center here in Topeka
- We have data systems redundancy through our data center in Omaha, Nebraska
- We have identified our essential business functions and are organizing business partners to work from home, as needed
- Every FHLBank has a back-up with another FHLBank to cover transactions in exigent situations
As a GSE, our access to the global capital markets remains strong
Although there are considerable stresses in the financial markets and rates are volatile, we continue to have access and have been issuing debt all week. We have worked to build up considerable balance sheet liquidity over the last twelve months and stand ready to meet the needs of our members.
Other measures being taken
Because our highest priority is the safety and health of our business partners and members, we have decided to restrict all non-essential in-person interactions with the public through April 30. This includes our members, vendors and community at large.
This means that the regional sales managers and collateral review officers will not meet face-to-face; but rather via phone and WebEx. Our preference is always to meet with you in person; however, we feel it is the right decision to reduce the possible spread of the virus throughout our district. We will continue to assess the situation and may extend or increase our levels of protection as we deem necessary and appropriate.
Annual Management Conference
The tough decision has been made to cancel the 2020 Annual Management Conference, which was to be held April 22-24. We do not want to put our members and business partners at unnecessary risk. It is our hope to be able to hold our regional meetings in the states we serve later this summer.
What you can do to ensure you have access to our services
To ensure your organization continues to have access to these services, please do the following.
- Review your authorizations to ensure you have adequate coverage as part of your institution’s readiness plans.
- Confirm your employees’ access to Members Only.
- For transactions that may require a second level of approval, make sure we have your current contact information.
What we are doing to ensure our business partners’ health
We are taking a proactive approach that we believe will help keep our business partners healthy and help control and limit exposure to COVID-19. These measures are in place so we will have available staff to serve you.
- Suspended all business travel through the end of April (e.g., member visits, training, conferences)
- Encourage use of virtual meetings
- Social distancing
- Limited visitors to the FHLBank, including vendors
- Enhanced cleaning of our office
We continue to monitor this quickly evolving situation and will communicate with you as the situation evolves.
We appreciate your ongoing partnership and we want you to know we are ready to deliver the same level of service as always. It has been my experience that FHLBank Topeka and the members of the Tenth District are often at their best in times of adversity. I want to express my sincere gratitude in advance for all you are doing to keep yourselves, your customers and your communities safe.
Please contact your regional account manager if you have questions about how we’re managing through COVID-19.
Mark E. Yardley
President and CEO