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BOK Financial to Donate $1 Million to COVID-19 Relief; Local Support to CARE Community Center

COVID-19 response includes increased donations, fee waivers and support for employees

Heather Rutherford | May 8, 2020

Hand with heart

BOK Financial Corporation will contribute $1 million as part of its efforts in support of COVID-19 relief. The company will direct donations to programs addressing food insecurity and re-employment of laid off and furloughed restaurant and hospitality workers.

The contribution is the centerpiece of the company’s COVID-19 response which also includes assistance for its clients and employees. “The amount of need is unprecedented during this crisis, and we are proud to support local nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines delivering services to our communities’ most vulnerable citizens,” said Steve Bradshaw, president and CEO of BOK Financial Corporation.

In Arkansas, BOK Financial has supported COVID-19 relief efforts through a number of avenues including $25,000 to the Root Cellar Pantry, a program of CARE (Community Access to Resources and Education) Community Center. The donation will support food delivery to clients who have lost jobs, efforts to partner with restaurants to offer drive-through meal pickup and to help the pantry expand operating hours to better serve food-insecure families.

“Supporting our community is key to who we are at BOK Financial,” said Jacob Hudson, Arkansas market president. “I’m proud our employees in the Arkansas market for their dedication during this difficult time. Whether it has been in working long hours to help businesses in our community apply for and receive PPP funds, helping to make and donate masks for medical personnel or finding organizations on the front line that we could support, our employees have stepped up and done what is needed to support this community.”

In addition to the larger gift to CARE, we are proud to financially support the Washington Regional Medical Foundation to help frontline employees of the hospital, the Mercy Health Foundation Northwest Arkansas’s Emergency Response Fund to support frontline caregivers and Canopy Northwest Arkansas to support the refugee community that has been impacted by COVID-19. The assistance will help those who have lost jobs find alternative jobs and cover basic everyday living expenses.

“We’re proud to support these programs that are supporting the community and helping service industry workers earn a wage and keep food on their families’ tables during this time of crisis,” said Bradshaw. “With these additional community support dollars, we expect to be able to bring our planned 2020 donations to nearly $7 million to benefit outstanding organizations serving our communities.”

Meeting client needs

Throughout the crisis, BOK Financial employees have been working nearly around the clock to serve client needs including processing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. The bank began accepting applications on April 3, the day the Small Business Administration opened its portal, and in less than two weeks, was able to secure $1.8 billion funding for clients.

“I am so proud of our people and the effort they put in to get these funds to the businesses who desperately need the help right now,” Bradshaw said.

In addition, the company is offering assistance to individuals, mortgage customers and commercial clients. Financial relief is being offered through temporary changes to fees related to excessive withdrawals, overdraft protection fees and late fees.

“We have teams of experts who are partnering with clients to help navigate these trying times,” said Derek Martin, BOK Financial consumer banking services executive. “Many employees have been redeployed to support business functions that are in high demand, including mortgage refinancing and PPP loan applications. We are working hard to support our clients in a variety of ways.”

Bankers’ new normal

As an essential service, banks have had to find new ways to conduct business. Most bank employees are working from home. Banking centers are largely limited to drive-thru services; mortgage loans are being closed over video chat. The bank has taken steps to address the current environment, including:

  • Employees who secured alternative childcare while kids are out of school are eligible for a temporary nontaxable reimbursement for backup childcare expenses.
  • Knowing that all employees may not be able to secure consistent, alternative childcare, up to 40 hours of miscellaneous paid time off has been granted to employees.
  • In an effort to provide access to medical care while reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19, BOK Financial eliminated employee costs to access telemedicine.

“Our team has quickly adapted to this temporary new normal and still maintained the same outstanding level of service for our clients,” Bradshaw said. “We will continue to adjust as the situation evolves, and we’ll remain focused on our employees, our clients and our communities with each decision we make.”

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BOK Financial Corporation is a more than $40 billion regional financial services company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma with $80 billion in assets under management and administration. The company's stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the Global Select market listings (BOKF). BOK Financial Corporation's holdings include BOKF, NA; BOK Financial Securities, Inc., BOK Financial Private Wealth, and BOK Financial Insurance, Inc. BOKF, NA operates TransFund, Cavanal Hill Investment Management and BOK Financial Asset Management, Inc. BOKF, NA operates banking divisions across eight states as: Bank of Albuquerque; Bank of Arkansas; Bank of Oklahoma; Bank of Texas; BOK Financial in Colorado, and Arizona; and Mobank in Kansas and Missouri; as well as having limited purpose offices Nebraska, Milwaukee and Connecticut. Through its subsidiaries, BOK Financial Corporation provides commercial and consumer banking, brokerage trading, investment, trust and insurance services, mortgage origination and servicing, and an electronic funds transfer network. For more information, visit www.bokf.com.