State consent awaited for changes in banking hours

Customers were advised to switch to digital banking and visit the bank branches only when necessary.   | Photo Credit: ipopba

A day after the State Level Bankers’ Committee took stock of the situation, on account of increase in COVID-19 cases, bank employees in Telangana are looking up to the State government to give consent for implementation of measures discussed, including reducing the business hours of banks.

“We are hopeful the State government will give consent soon,” R. Sriram, Convenor for Telangana of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) said on Thursday. Citing the guidelines Indian Banks’ Association had issued in this regard, he said any decision on their implementation can be taken by SLBC in concurrence with the State government.

Considering the gravity of the situation, especially with around 625 employees of SBI alone and several more in other banks in the State infected with the virus, the UFBU is planning to submit a memorandum to the State government. Towards safeguarding the employees as well as the customers, it is keen that the changes discussed at the SLBC are in place soon. According to sources, the SLBC in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have also passed resolutions on the same lines.

Chief General Manager of State Bank of India, Hyderabad Circle, Om Prakash Mishra had on Wednesday urged customers to switch to digital banking and visit the bank branches only when necessary. He had also expressed concern at the number of frontline staff across various facilities of SBI affected by COVID-19.

Sources among bankers said the special meeting of the SLBC on April 21 had deliberated on aspects related to certain relaxations for the staff as well as ensuring provisions are in place to facilitate banking by customers. Among the relaxations discussed were operating large and medium-sized branches with 50% staff or in other words putting in place a system in which the employees work on alternate days. The meeting also favoured reduction in the business hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closure of the branches by 4 p.m.

The minutes of the meeting have since been shared with the Chief Secretary of Telangana and a decision of the State government was expected on Friday, sources said.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 3:01:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/state-consent-awaited-for-changes-in-banking-hours/article34388372.ece

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