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Covid-19 update: information sources

26 March 2020

In addition to Deutsche Bank’s daily bulletins with updates and information in the developing Covid-19 pandemic, coronavirus resource centres and toolkits have been launched by organisations around the world

Since flow published the article Coping with Covid-19 on March 20, governments around the world have accelerated efforts to combat the pandemic in the face of a sharp rise in the number of reported new cases and deaths. Increasingly, regional and national lockdowns have been enforced, requiring most individuals to remain at home with in some cases exemptions for short trips to buy essentials such as food and medicine and exercise while maintaining social distancing.


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The International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) announced on March 16 that it would be working with the World Health Organisation “to ensure the latest and most reliable information and tailored guidance reaches the global business community.”

The ICC states that all businesses have a key role to play in minimising opportunities for the spread of coronavirus through “early, bold and effective action” that minimises short-term risks to employees and longer-term economic costs. It has also partnered with US think tank the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) to develop a summary of actions that companies can take to reduce these risks.

The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on its page Tackling the coronavirus calls for a united global effort to tackle the pandemic, with “a level of ambition similar to that of the Marshall plan” that helped countries recover in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Reuters reported on March 19 that the UK’s Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) called on the Bank of England (BoE) and major lenders to accelerate the flow of credit to British companies, as much of the country’s business activity is slowed or temporarily halted due to the lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

The ACT called for a programme enabling the BoE to lend directly to large businesses to be extended to smaller firms, and for banks to accelerate their lending decisions after the central bank eased rules governing their capital buffers.

“It’s vital that credit lines are readily available to businesses. If we can get this right, then it effectively mitigates some immediate risks to businesses,” said the ACT’s chief executive, Caroline Stockmann.

On March 17, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £330bn (US$380bn) lifeline of loan guarantees and a further £20bn package of tax cuts, grants and other help for companies to maintain operations while the pandemic continues. facing the risk of collapse. However, Naresh Aggarwal, the ACT’s associate director told Reuters: “New lending, business rates relief… all these things take time to secure, and that is time they can't afford to waste.”

Aggarwal posted an article entitled on the ACT website, A treasurer’s perspective on the coronavirus on March 6, although the speed of developments in recent weeks suggests that this advice will be updated.


“It’s vital that credit lines are readily available to businesses. If we can get this right, then it effectively mitigates some immediate risks to businesses”

Caroline Stockmann, chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT)

Airmic, the UK association of insurance and risk managers has set up a coronavirus resource page on its website, which it reports will be regularly updated. Airmic has also begun a series of fortnightly podcasts focusing on the responses that organisations are – and should be – taking in response to the pandemic with particular emphasis on enterprise risk management.

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI), which has often been focused more on business continuity post-Brexit, issued guidelines on pandemic resilience back in late-January, has just published its Coronavirus Organisational Preparedness Report and will also present a webinar, ‘The Current State of Pandemic Preparedness in Europe’ on Friday March 27.

Other resources include the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) coronavirus hub and the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed. The British Chambers of Commerce has also added a dedicated coronavirus page to its website.

In Germany, the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI), also known as the “voice of German industry” noted in its quarterly report for Q1 2020, issued on March 13, that the coronavirus was already “throwing the German economy off balance”. Germany’s financial supervisory authority BaFin, which states that it is working with the European Central Bank and other European supervisory authorities to monitor the situation, has set up a dedicated coronavirus information page on its website.


North America and Australia

In North America, the US Chamber of Commerce has compiled a coronavirus response toolkit for businesses and workers across the country, which are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as information specifically for US small businesses. The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) has set up a coronavirus resource centre.

North of the border, the Government of Canada’s website has a section entitled Resources for Canadian Businesses addressing the challenges of the pandemic and including a call to action for the country’s manufacturers.

The Business Council of Australia reports that it is working closely with the Australian government’s Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit and “putting forward practical measures that keep businesses open”.

Several publications that normally apply a subscriber paywall that limits access to articles have relaxed this restriction so that information and commentary on the pandemic is available to all. Titles include the Financial Times and a daily newsletter from The New York Times, the NYT’s decision being mirrored by other US news organisations, which this week announced they were lifting their paywalls.



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