Non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) can keep open maximum two branches – onein Dhaka and the other elsewhere –and the departments concerned of the head office from 10am to 2pm in the ongoing lockdown.
The central bank, in a circular on Wednesday, said the directive would be effective from 22-28 April as per the gazette the Cabinet Division issued on Tuesday.
Earlier, in the first phase of the lockdown from 5-11April, the NBFIs were asked to continue their operations on a limited scale for the four hours daily but there was no limit on the number of branches to remain open.
Meanwhile, during the second phase of the lockdown from 14-20 April, there were instructions for banks but not for NBFIs.
At that time, following the previous instructions, the NBFIs were operating on a limited scale, said Md Kyser Hamid, managing director of BD Finance. He said that now with the new direction in the third phase lockdown, it is an advantage for them.
An official of the central bank's department concerned said that most of the NBFIs are Dhaka-centric. Only a small number of institutions have operations outside Dhaka.
Asked why there were no instructions to limit the activities of NBFIs in the second phase of the lockdown from 14-20 April, the central bank official said they were monitoring the situation so no instructions were given.
The circular on Wednesday said the new guidelines were aimed at providing emergency financial services to customers, including cashing fixed deposits on maturity and depositing loan instalments.
According to the instructions, the organisations will complete the arrangement and presence of the required manpower at their own discretion by following the hygiene rules.