KUWAIT CITY, March 29: The Central Bank of Kuwait has requested all banks to urgently activate emergency plans to deal with crises, reports Al-Qabas daily. The circular, a copy of which has been obtained by the daily, stated, “In exceptional circumstances as a result of the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic COVID-19, and the rapid developments accompanying its spread, especially with difficulty to determine the extent of its temporal and geographical spread, and what it constitutes as a direct test of the willingness of banks to withstand the pressures of such a crisis, and within the framework of the directives issued to the banks regarding the measures that must be taken to maintain financial stability in these exceptional circumstances, which were confirmed during repeated meetings with members of the entity.
It is necessary to activate the emergency plans, business continuity and confront crises, with the necessity of updating them with the requirements of the current exceptional circumstances in order to ensure the continuation of banking business – especially basic business – without hindrance or disruption for any reason, specifically due to the absence or shortage of the human element, taking into account regulatory decisions issued by the State.
The circular added, “Priority of work and the employees who will implement this (and the alternative teams) must be identified, whether at the workplace or from home – if possible – with the necessary controls and mechanisms in place to supervise the work and follow up on reports by senior management. In all cases, the utmost care should be taken with the employees who are required to work on the premises – headquarters and branches – and take all precautionary measures to ensure their safety.
The circular concluded by saying “We stress on the necessity of putting this circular under the consideration of the boards of directors of banks within a week from the date of the circular, provided continuous followup in undertaken of the developments and the procedures of banks under these conditions.”