Dismissing the rumours of banks planning to close their branches due to the rising new cases of coronavirus in the country, Debasish Panda, Financial Services Secretary, on Friday said that the lenders’ branches will remain functional during the lockdown period.
Panda assured the customers that there is sufficient amount of cash at the banks as well as at their ATMs.
“Custmr (customer) service Bank branches are operational & will continue to provide services. Sufficient cash across branches & ATMs! Don’t trust rumours of branch closures! Custmrs requested to stagger arrival at Branches etc,” Panda said in a tweet.
Custmr service Bank branches are operational & will continue to provide services. Sufficient cash across branches & ATMs! Don't trust rumours of branch closures! Custmrs requested to stagger arrival at Branches etc. #Lockdown21@PMOIndia @FinMinIndia @PIB_India @MIB_India
— Debasish Panda (@DebasishPanda87) March 27, 2020
The assurance from the Financial Services Secretary comes a day after reports of discussions between banks and the RBI were published stating that they might shut most of their branches to prevent thousands of the bankers from getting infected from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Majority of the private as well as the public banks have cut short their manpower and their working hours due to the pandemic. India’s biggest lender State Bank of India staggered working hours to maintain the required social distancing to contain the spread of the pandemic.
“In many states, we have restricted timings of our branch opening. Like in some states, it is 7-10 AM, in some states it is 8-11 AM and in some 10 AM to 2 PM,” PK Gupta, Managing Director, Retail Banking, SBI quoted as saying by PTI.
Similarly, private lender Axis Bank has also revised its business hours to 10:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das announced that about ₹3.74 lakh crore liquidity will be infused into the financial system to tackle the financial crisis caused due to the coronavirus. Reassuring the customers the governor said, “your money is safe,” adding that the “Indian banking system is safe and sound.”