The Bangladesh Bank has extended banking time for 12-13 April, when all previous instructions will remain in effect to prevent Covid-19 transmission.
By extending half an hour, transactions in the banks will now continue from 10am to 1pm on those two days, according to the Department of Offsite Supervision (DOS) of the central bank.
As per the DOS instructions, issued on 4 April, the bank transaction time was from 10am to 12 noon. Now it has been extended to half an hour.
Officials at bank branches and the departments concerned at their head offices, however, will stay at their respective workplace until 3pm for post-transaction activities, the DOS said on Sunday.
If a severe lockdown is announced from April 14, bank transaction time may be rescheduled again, according to central bank sources.
The DOS said bank branches adjacent to seaports, land ports, and airports, will remain open for their standard and regular hours. In this case, they must follow their previous standard procedures and hygiene rules.
Banks must provide adequate cash at booths to ensure that ATM and card transactions continue smoothly. They also have to ensure necessary security and health protection measures at their booths.
As per instructions issued on 4 April, the DOS had also instructed banks to ensure the carrying out of all essential transactions for customers within the reduced banking hours.
They must ensure cash transactions, treasury challans (bills), utility bill submissions, purchase or cashing of savings certificates, and all other transactions under the payment system or clearing system. Also, banks have to continue transactions in their foreign trade branches (authorised dealers).
According to the DOS, there should be no interruption in the transaction as well as in the disbursement of loans. Banks have to continue the disbursement of all types of loans, including incentive packages.
Banks may decide at their own discretion how many staff members will be present at bank branches during transaction hours. They may consider using on a priority basis, bank staff living close to branches.
Those serving clients at a bank and the customers themselves will have to make sure they follow the hygiene rules prescribed by the government, said the DOS.