Bank branches in Telangana will continue to remain open for customers for four hours, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, until May 30.
This follows the State Level Bankers’ Committee on Thursday advising member banks to adhere to the four-hour schedule, to which branches had shifted a week ago, in the backdrop of lockdown in Telangana being extended up to the same date. As per an earlier advisory, the new timings for the branches were to be in force till May 20.
“It is felt necessary to continue the existing banking timings (8.00 am to 12.00 noon), so that the general population of Telangana is not put to any inconvenience and can carry out banking transactions with ease during the lockdown period,” SLBC Convenor and SBI General Manager Krishan Sharma said in a communication to the controller of all banks.
During the four hours, the branches will provide essential services such as cash deposit/withdrawal, remittances, clearing of cheques and handle government business, on the lines of an advisory issued by the Indian Bank’ Association (IBA).
The SLBC said staff at bank branches/administrative offices may be allowed to work on a rotational basis complying with all COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Central and State governments. However, “Controllers of banks would take [a] decision in this regard for effective implementation at the ground level without affecting customer service,” the communication said.
Vaccine for bankers
Meanwhile, the United Forum for Bank Unions that had been seeking such measures has appealed to the State government to vaccinate all bank employees on a priority. They have been in the “forefront in providing banking services during the COVID-19 pandemic period since the last one year and have contributed immensely in keeping the wheels of economy moving and also in implementing the various social welfare programmes of the government of Telangana,” State Convenor of UFBU R. Sriram said in a letter to the Chief Secretary.
Thousands of staff have been affected and many have also succumbed to COVID-19. In view of being in contact with customers, the employees come under the high risk category, in terms of contracting the virus. Stating this, he also cited the Centre’s Department of Financial Services advisory to all States that vaccination of bank and financial sector employees be taken up on a priority basis.