Bank of America, which hired over 2,000 new employees in March alone, says it will not be doing any layoffs or job reductions in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

While many companies in the US and everywhere are getting ready for layoffs and hiring freezes, America’s second largest bank launched a hiring spree last month and also raised U.S. minimum hourly wages to $20.

According to Bank of America vice chairman vice chairman Anne Finucane, the new hires were assigned to consumer and operations functions.

To help employees get through this difficult time, she said, the bank is providing special allowances for child- and elder care and a special supplemental payment of $200 per pay period [every two weeks].

“All our teammates and members of their households have access to confidential counselling services to help them navigate through this period of uncertainty,” she said.

Calming clients’ fears

“Last week we announced additional support for our 66 million consumer and small business clients to help mitigate hardships during this time,” Ms. Finucane said.

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This support ranges “from deferring payments on small business or auto loans, mortgages and home equity to pausing all foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.”

Last week, United States President Donald Trump signed a massive $2.2tn economic rescue bill to help lift the economy and address the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill is the largest rescue package in US history. Addressing the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the legislation offers direct payments to most Americans and special financing for big and small businesses.

“Now that the new legislation has passed, once the rules are written, we will also work to implement the small business lending program,” Ms. Finucane said.

Helping communities

Bank of America has announced it is committing $100m to support local communities in need as the world faces unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus.

The funds will help increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, increase access to learning as a result of school closures, and provide support to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

“Across the company, we are all doing ‘double duty’ right now — trying to do all we can to help our teammates, clients and communities steer their way through this crisis, while also keeping up with day-to-day business as usual.”