In response to the spike in coronavirus cases, the Indian Banks' Association has instructed its member banks to provide basic banking services during limited business hours until 2 p.m. as a business continuity measure.
On April 21, the IBA held a special management committee meeting and agreed to issue an advisory on certain additional measures that banks should take in addition to those outlined in last year's standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The banks will be offering the following four services:
- Accepting deposits
- Cash withdrawals
- Government businesses.
"Unlike last year, states are now releasing their guidelines for breaking the COVID-19 chain, and banks will have to implement different COVID protocols in different states and districts," it said.
"Banking working hours (business hours) may be limited to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Door-to-door banking should be promoted, according to the IBA letter to banks.
Depending on the nature of the task, staff role, and size of the establishment, workers may be called on a rotational basis or permitted to work from home as the case may be; preferably, 50 percent of the employees may be called for "in person" duty and on a rotation basis, it said.
The Bank of Maharashtra has instructed its member banks to operate with only 15% of total attendance or five people, whichever is higher. These directives were issued in response to the Maharashtra government's stringent steps, which went into force today and will remain in effect until 7 a.m. on May 1.
According to Sunil Mehta, the association's chief executive, about 600 employees of state-owned banks, private banks, international banks, payments banks, and small finance banks have died as a result of the pandemic.
When the pandemic first broke out last year, the IBA urged bank customers to take advantage of limited facilities at bank branches so that physical trips to banks could be avoided as much as possible.
The majority of bank transactions can be completed online or through bank applications. With the virus's intensity, it's best to avoid going to the bank unless it's absolutely necessary.