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Storm prompts rare daylong closures of state banks

Electronic banking offers alternatives for customers needing service from closed banks, officials say.
BY DON MECOY Published: February 2, 2011

Like many Oklahoma businesses whose employees simply couldn't get to the office, banks across the state closed Tuesday in the wake of the paralyzing snowstorm.

Dudley Gilbert, general counsel for the state Banking Department, said banks from Chickasha to Tulsa notified the agency that they wouldn't open because of the weather. State Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson on Monday sent a notice to all state-chartered banks that officers could shut down if they judged the weather conditions to be an emergency.

Many did.

“They just cannot get employees in to open the banks,” Gilbert said.

SpiritBank closed all 12 branches after some employees began reporting early Tuesday that they couldn't get their vehicles out of their driveways, President Ted Cundiff, of Tulsa, said.

Cundiff said it was the first time in his 11 years with the company that branches have closed all day due to weather.

Gilbert said Tuesday also was the first time he could remember widespread, daylong bank closures due to inclement weather. Last year's heavy snowstorm came later in the day, and caused some banks to close — but only for part of the day.

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We may get a gold star for attendance. For the most part, we were up and running.”

Jay Hannah

Executive vice president of financial services at BancFirst


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