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IBA advises banks to curtail working hours, provide basic services

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According to the advisory issued by IBA, which CNBC-TV18 has reviewed, banks have been advised to curtain business operations to between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

The Indian Banks Association (IBA) has issued an advisory to all member banks in light of the rising cases of coronavirus in the country, asking them to restrict business hours, and stick to basic services only.
"Last year also when it was a national lockdown, we had issued two advisories to banks on business continuity plans. But this year, the situation is different, the lockdown rules and timings vary across state in severity. So we have issued a basic set of guidelines, and asked State Level Bankers Committees (SCLB) to tweak these depending on the severity of the situation in a particular state," a senior executive from IBA told CNBC-TV18.
According to the advisory issued by IBA, which CNBC-TV18 has reviewed, banks have been advised to curtain business operations to between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. "Working hours (business hours) of the banks could be restricted to 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Door step banking activities should be encouraged," read the advisory.
"Banks will continue to provide four mandatory services (Accepting deposits, cash withdrawals, remittance and government businesses), SLBCs of each state / union territory will review the situation in their respective states/UT and will decide on additional services that can be provided under existing situation of their state/UT," IBA said in its advisory.
It further said banks must call employees on a rotational basis or allow them to work from home as the case may be, depending on the nature of job, staff position and size of the establishment.
"Ideally 50 percent of the employees may be called for "in person" duty and on rotation basis," IBA said.
Being frontline workers, IBA has advised that banks ensure employees are encouraged to take vaccination for themselves as well as for family members.
SLBCs have also been advised to contact the chief medical officers and other senior level Government Officials and arrange for a mass vaccination programme for the employees at office premises or at suitable places which are mutually convenient within the state protocols.
The note added that banks should also explore arrangement with hospitals to provide all emergency medical facilities required for the staff in the event of COVID infection and also for staff requiring intensive medical attention.
“All SOPs regarding social distancing, management of the customers, health and sanitation, wearing masks and gloves etc. which are highlighted in our pervious SOPS should be strictly followed in all bank premises," re-iterated the banking body.
"The list is only indicative and banks are encouraged to adopt additional measures for the safety and security of the employees," it said.

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