What credit unions should know about mitigating currency delivery delays

With credit unions increasingly reporting currency shipment delays and expressing fears about running short on currency at some branch and/or ATM locations, a CUNA Mutual Group risk alert released today urges credit unions to be proactive and develop a contingency plan regarding currency levels.

The alert states that, similar to other supply disruptions that became widespread in 2020, some armored car companies are now struggling with labor shortages and telling some credit unions to expect delays on currency deliveries. One credit union reported that they were told to expect delays for at least the next four weeks, and were encouraged to order larger amounts of currency anticipating fewer deliveries, according to the alert.

Therefore, credit unions that are unable to receive timely armored car deliveries may need to increase their currency shipment amounts, the risk alert states. However, if a credit union’s currency shipment amount is increased, it is important to ensure that the amount of insurance coverage stated on the armored car contract covers the maximum amount being transported. Further, credit unions should confirm that their safes and vaults can handle the increase in currency from both a liability and storage perspective.

While it is best to utilize armored car services for currency deliveries, deposits and servicing ATMs to minimize credit union risk and transfers liability concerns to the carrier, the risk alert reminds credit unions that if transportation of funds by staff is the only feasible option, the amount of currency transported should not exceed these currency transportation guidelines:

  • one or more credit union employees: $50,000 maximum;
  • one employee accompanied by an armed guard: $100,000 maximum; and
  • armored car: amounts greater than $100,000.

The risk alert also outlines risk mitigation tips that credit unions can consider regarding alternate currency transportation methods and/or increasing currency order amounts as part of their procedures for transporting cash:

  • avoid well-established, set patterns or routines;
  • vary the time of transportation from day to day;
  • take different routes traveling to/from, and when possible, minimize patterns;
  • use different vehicles to transport funds so as not to create a target;
  • never make any additional stops when transporting currency;
  • do not display bank moneybags or other containers that indicate the presence of currency; and
  • remain aware of your surroundings and be looking for unfamiliar faces.

CUNA Mutual Group’s risk alerts, in additional to additional risk-prevention resources, may be accessed on their Protection Resource Center. Log-in is required.

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