Banks should reduce their opening hours and operate with 50% staff

Opening hours may be limited from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks will likely prompt Telangana’s banks to cut hours of operation and operate many of their branches with half their workforce.

Under active scrutiny after several hundred employees and bank agents were infected with the virus, these measures and a few others were discussed at a special meeting of the state-level bankers committee on Wednesday, said. several sources said. The SLBC’s decision, especially the decision to take effect of the changes, is likely to be communicated late at night, they said.

According to the meeting agenda, the proposal was to put the arrangements in place from April 22 to May 15. A clear picture will emerge Thursday morning, a source said.

The proposals that could be implemented include limiting opening hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closing banks at 4 p.m. Overall, that would mean an hour less available for customers to transact at branches. Regarding banks operating with 50% staff, a senior official at a large public sector bank said it was unlikely to be implemented in small branches or establishments with fewer than eight employees.

The 50% or alternating working day standard for staff members will apply to control offices, administrative offices and large and medium-sized branches.

In doing so, however, banks will ensure that all alternative (banking) distribution channels remain operational. Bank back-office services including currency safes, ATM cash load vendors, core banking solutions projects, data center offices, data recovery centers, ATM back offices, security operations centers for cybersecurity, service branches, clearing houses and treasury offices of banks and other facilities authorized by the head office of the bank will operate as normal .

Leaders of banking unions told the State Bank of India, which has a workforce of 12,500 in the state, that more than 625 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, while the number at all banks could be between 1200 and 1500.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions representing bank employees and executives, also called on SLBC to consider various measures in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases, including reduced working hours, working with staff, opting for the central bank or offering services in some branches, as well as to vaccinate bankers

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