Puducherry

Social distancing leads to drop in footfall at banks

PUDUCHERRY, 24 March 2020: Square slots to promote social distancing among customers have come up in banks. Photo: Special Arrangement

PUDUCHERRY, 24 March 2020: Square slots to promote social distancing among customers have come up in banks. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Handout_E_Mail

There are 128 urban and 62 rural branches of various banks in U.T.

Footfalls came down drastically in banks across urban and rural Puducherry which functioned under the revised business hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as the Union Territory went into lockdown on Tuesday to break the chain of COVID-19.

Banks, which were among the essential services exempted from the lockdown, had introduced various safety measures such as hand sanitisers for customers and protective gear for staff. These were as per advisories of the Reserve Bank of India, Government of India, Indian Banks Association and other authorities.

“While most urban branches of banks reported a roughly 50 per cent reduction in customers, the demand for services was relatively higher in rural centres,” a spokesman for the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) said.

The revised business hours are in place till March 31 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. There are 128 urban and 62 rural branches of various banks in Puducherry and over 300 ATMs. “Adequate cash has been loaded at ATMs,” SLBC spokesman said.

Digital transaction

Banks have also encouraged customers to utilise digital transaction modes and to avoid walk-ins to bank/ATM as far as possible as a precautionary measure. But, for those who turned up at branches, banks provided all basic essential services of cash deposit and withdrawal, clearing of cheques, remittances and Government transactions to customers. Measures were also in place to avoid overcrowding in branches through social distancing between customers.

Hand sanitisers and awareness boards on the novel coronavirus and recommended safety precautions were also kept across ATMs in the city. “There has not been any circular on reducing duty staff across branch offices. This has been left to the discretion of the respective branches,” the SLBC spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:04:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/social-distancing-leads-to-drop-in-footfall-at-banks/article31158550.ece

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