Fact check: Are banks shutting down for a week in September?

There has been a message doing the rounds that there will be seven days of bank holidays.

September 23, 2019 01:23 pm | Updated 01:41 pm IST

People wait at an SBI ATM at Manancira in Kozhkode on Friday. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

People wait at an SBI ATM at Manancira in Kozhkode on Friday. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Four nationalised bank unions have announced a strike on September 26 and 27 to protest against the Centre’s plan to merge some public sector banks. The strike is also to demand wage revision and a hike in pension.

There has been a message doing the rounds that this will lead to seven days of bank holidays, with September 28 being a fourth Saturday, and September 30 the day for half-yearly closing of accounts. October 2 is a national holiday as it is Gandhi Jayanti.

However, banks will not be off for seven days.

While it is true that there is a strike planned by the four unions — All India Bank Officers Confederation, All India Bank Officers Association, Indian National Bank Officers Congress and National Organisation of Bank Officers — the State Bank of India (SBI) has said in a regulatory filing that: “While bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to some extent by the strike.”

Bank of India too, in a filing has said that the bank is taking all necessary measures in order to ensure “smooth functioning of bank’s branches/offices”.

September 30, though being the date for half-yearly closing of accounts, is not listed as a holiday on RBI’s website. Moreover, banks will work on October 1.

This proposed strike is only by public sector bank unions. Private sector banks, cooperative banks, and rural banks will function through this period.

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