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Changes in banking hours unsettle customers, say unions

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Centre’s move aimed at facilitating ease of doing business

The revision of public sector bank (PSB) timings beginning November 1 has ended up causing confusion among customers accustomed to particular banking hours.

The change in timings follow a government order aimed at facilitating ease of doing business.

Public sector banks across the country have revised their branch timings from November 1, following a government order aimed at facilitating ease of doing business.

Public sector banks had been asked to classify the branches into three categories — residential, commercial and all other areas, that include offices, for implementing the revised timing.

The timing for branches in each of these areas have been decided by the State Level Bankers Committee.

In Maharashtra, a branch in an area categorised as residential, will have banking hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and customer banking hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A branch located in a commercial area will work from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and customer banking hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Branches in all other areas and offices will have banking hours from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. and customer banking hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Timings may differ for other States.

The change in banking hours is a part of the government’s Enhanced Access and Service Excellence Programme, or EASE 2.0, the objective of which was to have uniform banking hours for a particular category of branches in a particular State.

However, bank unions have criticised the move saying the new timings had led to a lot of confusion among customers who were not aware of the changes.

“As per Central government direction in the name of ease of doing business, all banks have changed timings with effect from November 1 but this has created lot of chaos. Banks have not changed the boards or given notice,” said Devidas Tuljapurkar, general secretary, Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation.

The federation has appealed to the government and the banks to revisit the issue and said if changes in branch timings are to be effected, customers should be to informed in advance.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:39:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/changes-in-banking-hours-unsettle-customers-say-unions/article29865514.ece

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