Limited-scale transactions in banks will continue till 30 May following the extension of the ongoing lockdown enforced by the government to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 infection.
However, this time the transaction time has been extended by half an hour, and customers will able allowed to carry out financial transactions from 10am to 2.30pm on regular working days. However, the bankers have to stay in the office till 4pm to perform the post-transaction activities.
The central bank's Department of Offsite Supervision on Sunday issued a circular stating that other directives of the circular issued on 13 April would remain in force. Those directives had stated that banking activities would run on a limited scale every day except public and weekly holidays.
All authorised dealer (AD) branches, including the head office and the head branch of the bank located at the district headquarters, should be kept open.
In addition, at least one branch should be kept open every two kilometres in the city corporation area if the AD branch is not open. On the other hand, at the upazila level, one branch of each bank should be kept open on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Apart from this, branches, sub-branches and booths of the bank located in the seaport, land port and airport areas will remain open all the time. However, port and local administration will have to play an appropriate role in enforcing hygiene.
With limited manpower, banking activities should continue in compliance with the health rules. Besides, bank authorities concerned have been asked to take necessary steps to bring employees to their respective offices.
Meanwhile, banks have been asked to ensure all transaction facilities under the clearing system of various payment procedures to keep transactions going. Besides, the deadline for inter-bank cheque transactions has also been extended by half an hour.
According to the new schedule, the cheque transaction period of Tk5 lakh or more has been fixed from 12 noon to 1.30pm. On the other hand, for regular value cheque below Tk5 lakh, the deadline has been extended from 12.30pm to 3pm.
In addition, instructions have been given to keep enough money in ATM booths to avoid a cash crunch. Besides, the daily withdrawal limit from the booth has been increased from Tk50,000 to Tk1 lakh. Mobile banking agent points are also instructed to keep a sufficient amount of cash.
Meanwhile, the Department of Financial Institutions and Markets of the central bank has directed banks as well as non-bank financial institutions to operate in a limited manner till 30 May, except on public and weekly holidays, in compliance with health regulations.
According to the directive, the branches concerned of non-bank financial institutions will be open from 10am to 2.30pm to provide emergency financial services such as payment of loan instalments, encashment of matured fixed deposits. However, a total of two branches can be kept open, one in Dhaka and one outside Dhaka.