Mumbai: Banks in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra have revised their timings in view of the COVID-19 situation in the state. The decision has been taken by a state-level bankers committee to protect bank employees from getting infected with COVID-19 as cases continue to rise amid the second wave in India,Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Banks to Remain Open for 4 Hours Only Until May 15
Starting Friday (April 23), all banks in Maharashtra will operate from 10 am to 2 pm till April 30. However, customers will be able to access basic banking facilities such as money withdrawal and deposit. Also Read - SBI Alert: How State Bank of India Customers Can Withdraw Cash From ATM Without Debit Card
On Wednesday, Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) decided to shorten bank branch hours along with cutting staff attendance by 50 per cent. The banking industry body also communicated standard operating procedures to all the banks on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
IBA had observed that the infection rate among bankers is ‘alarming’. “Considering the fact that there is no nationwide lockdown this time and states are issuing relevant guidelines depending on the gravity of the situation in respective states, the MC [managing committee of IBA] has advised that … the State Level Bankers’ Committees (SLBC) could modify the SOPs as per the prevailing situation and needs in respective states,” the letter reviewed by Business Standard said.
The fresh directions from the IBA came after a consortium of bank unions wrote a letter, urging to bring new SOPs to protect employees from catching the coronavirus. According to data by IBA, around 600 bankers lost their lives due to COVID-19 in 2020.