It was Monday, March 23, 2020, that the meaning of the coronavirus pandemic for the banking industry set in at Great Southern Bancorp, a $5.4 billion bank based in Springfield, Missouri. A steady stream of clients began calling the bank the week before, soon after the federal government declared a national emergency. They were worried what the pandemic would do to their businesses. By Monday, the steady stream had become a torrent. “It seemed like it hit overnight,” says John Bugh, chief lending officer at Great Southern. “Sports were getting canceled, schools were getting canceled, and then we had the...
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John J. Maxfield is a contributor for Bank Director magazine.