An Update on the Coronavirus and Its Implications

  • March 12, 2020

I am writing to update you on actions the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago is taking in connection with the Coronavirus outbreak. Serving our members is our highest priority. We are committed to providing uninterrupted, reliable access to liquidity and that is particularly true in times like these. As concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus grow, we continue to closely monitor developments to ensure we are well prepared to support you. Like many organizations, we are taking prudent steps to help slow the spread of the virus in consideration of the safety and well-being of our members, employees, community partners, vendors, and guests. 

Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing the following measures including: 

Postponing In-Person Meetings and Events
The opportunity to engage with our members and community partners has always been central to our business and something we look forward to each year. However, to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved, upcoming events like our Member Meetings, MPF Workshops, and AHP Workshops have been postponed. We will look to reschedule these events at a future date. 

Restricting Employee Business Travel 
With the safety and well-being of our employees top of mind, we have restricted all business travel for our employees. Any planned visits of our staff to your institution or organization will be conducted virtually or rescheduled to a later date, as you deem appropriate.

Enacting Social Distancing 
As a precautionary measure, we are restricting visitors to our Bank at this time. If you have an upcoming visit to our Bank, someone will reach out to you to change the meeting to a virtual meeting or reschedule to a later date. In addition, we are limiting the contact our employees have with one another by encouraging our employees to work remotely. We have managed in this manner in the past without providing notice to our members. We do so now to provide comfort that we can maintain robust and effective operations to support you during this public health crisis.

Ensuring Members Can Transact With Us
All call-in numbers (Member Transaction Desk, MPF Service Center) and electronic transaction platforms (eBanking, eMPF) will be available to members during our normal business hours. In addition, we are asking our members to do the following to ensure that your staff can continue to execute transactions with us, should your organization also execute business resiliency plans.

Review your current authorizations to provide for adequate coverage for: 

  • eBanking access 
  • Borrowing ability 
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (wires) 
  • Collateral and Safekeeping 

Verify that you have sufficient authorized users with eBanking access and make certain that those users have: 

  • An active account 
  • Appropriate product transaction authority (assigned eBanking roles) 
  • A Bank token or password that is active and has been used in recent months 
If you do not have a Direct Wire template in place, consider implementing Direct Wire for wire transfers. This would permit authorized users to execute single-control wires to a specified source (e.g., your Fed account or another correspondent bank). The agreement to setup Direct Wire is located in eBanking under “account” and can be submitted through eBanking. 

If your security policy permits, encourage employees to take their FHLBank Chicago token, and any other necessary items to transact business with us, home each evening. This could be useful if your staff is required to work remotely. 

If you have questions or concerns, or want to verify user access, please call 1.855.345.2244, option 0, or contact your Sales Director.

In closing, we will continue to closely monitor the developments around the Coronavirus outbreak and will continue to keep you apprised of information regarding developments at our Bank to maintain the high level of support you should expect from us. We hope and trust that you, your colleagues, your families, and your communities are safe and taking appropriate steps to support the health and welfare of all.

Please reach out to us with any questions.

Best regards,

Matt Feldman
President and CEO

Contact Us

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Casey Reidy 
Director, Communications

Heather Bockstruck
Assistant Director, Communications