Banking activities on a limited scale will continue till 28 April across the country following the extension of the all-out lockdown period for one more week, reads a circular issued by the Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday.
General Manager Anwarul Islam of the Off-site Supervision Department at the Central Bank issued a circular which reads that banking hours have been extended in the wake of the notification issued by the cabinet department on Tuesday.
In the ongoing all-round lockdown, bank transaction hours are from 10am to 1pm, excluding weekly and public holidays. However, bankers may work in the office till 2.30pm to wrap up ancillary back office work.
On 13 April, the Central Bank instructed all banks to operate on a limited scale in the lockdown. The directive said headquarters of banks, all authorised dealer (AD) branches, and head offices in district towns, should be kept open during the lockdown.
Also, at least one branch (if the AD branch is not open) has to be kept open for every two kilometres in the City Corporation area. At the upazila level, one branch of each bank had be kept open on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Bank branches, sub-branches, and ATM booths in seaports, land ports, and airports, will be open all the time. However, the port administration, including the local administration, will take an appropriate role in enforcing safe health and hygiene practices.
For customers to continue to avail a full range of transaction facilities, it is necessary to ensure the provision of all transaction facilities under the clearing system of various payment systems introduced by the Bangladesh Bank.
Earlier, instructions were given to continue banking activities with limited manpower, in compliance with health rules. Bank authorities have been asked to take necessary measures to staff their respective bank offices adequately.
Instructions were also given to keep enough cash in ATM booths to avoid a cash crunch. The daily withdrawal limit from ATM booths has been increased to Tk1 lakh from the earlier limit of Tk50,000. Mobile banking agent points are also instructed to keep sufficient cash in hand to serve customers.