With the number of coronavirus cases increasing in Mississippi, the three large banks in Pontotoc announced new measures Friday (March 20) morning to limit customer traffic inside bank lobbies.

Bank of Pontotoc President Grant Reynolds said the following announcement was posted on the bank’s Facebook page.

"Beginning Friday, March 20th, we will be closing all lobbies to walk-in traffic. Drive-thru lanes are open at all locations during our normal business hours. Appointments can be scheduled to meet with Loan Officers as well as Financial Service Representatives to open new accounts or access safe deposit boxes by calling your specific branch, including Bank of Pontotoc - (662) 489-6404; Oxford University Ave. - (662) 234-6668; and Oxford Jackson Avenue - (662) 234-0622."

"Please use all available drive-thru lanes open at each location. We also encourage you to utilize our online banking, mobile banking app, ATMs, and night depositories during this time. As always, we are available by phone to answer any questions you may have during our normal business hours. We hope you understand these precautionary measures being taken to protect our valued customers and employees."

Renasant Bank also posted a message on Facebook, which read, "To ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, all of our banking locations will be drive-thru service only during normal business hours starting Friday, March 20. Lobby access by appointment is available.”

A message from Renasant President and CEO Mitch Waycaster was also posted concerning banking operations and services.

In part, Waycaster said,” As your trusted financial partner, we understand this is an uncertain time for our employees, customers and communities given the events surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As such, we want to let you know of some actions we are taking to ease any uncertainty and provide reassurance that you will still be able to conduct your financial business."

"Our goal is always to provide an excellent customer service experience at every interaction you have with Renasant, whether that be with our banking services, mortgage lending, or wealth and insurance services. To ensure your safety and well-being, as well as that of our employees, on Friday, March 20, 2020, we will temporarily transition our branch operations to drive-thru only."

"We will continue working hard every day to earn your confidence and trust. Our employees are prepared and eager to assist with your banking needs as we navigate this temporary environment together. We have enhanced our services available through the drive-thru that you would normally conduct inside a Renasant location and remain available for other services by appointment. Please visit the locations page of our website for the phone number of your local Renasant office and, for access to services required within a branch, contact your banker to make an appointment. Locations without drive-thru capabilities will also be by appointment only,” Waycaster continued.

"At Renasant, we remain open for business, and in these unprecedented and challenging times, the safety of our employees and clients, both physically and financially, are of utmost importance. We thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate these rapidly-changing events. As always, we thank you for being a loyal Renasant customer,” Waycaster concluded.

First Choice Bank CEO Shane Clayton issued the following statement concerning First Choice Bank’s new lobby policy.

“We are open to help and serve our customers,” Clayton said. "Beginning Friday, March 20, 2020, our drive-thrus will remain open during normal business hours. Our banks will be staffed and ready to serve you via phone, email, drive-thru, or by appointment. If you wish to meet with a lender, open a new account, or access your safe deposit box, please call the bank at 662-489-1631 to set up an appointment."

"We are limiting access within all First Choice Bank lobbies. Our bank remains open to serve and assist our customers during this time of uncertainty. Our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities. Temporarily limiting lobby access will allow us to protect others while continuing to serve the financial needs of our customers."

We know that limiting access to our lobbies may create heavier traffic in our drive-thru lanes. Because of this and our desire to efficiently serve you, we will be temporarily re-opening our Express Drive Thru located at 158 Highway 15 Bypass (across from True Value) to provide additional lanes of drive-thru service. This branch will re-open on Monday, March 23rd and remain open until this health crisis subsides."

"As a customer, First Choice Bank wants you to know that we are willing and ready to do all that is reasonable to provide financial assistance to you. Where necessary, we can provide payment relief, modifications of existing loans, or additional credit when warranted."

"While we are not certain when this health crisis will subside, we are confident that the virus will eventually die out, a cure will be found, or a vaccine will be developed to protect us. In the meantime, we are all in this together, and we stand ready to serve you, our valuable customers,” Clayton concluded.

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