As the world was fighting the global emergency, a few unsung heroes from the
banking industry were doing their duties to make sure that the transition for the
public from the outside world to staying indoors was hassle-free. Money has always
been one of the essential aspects when it comes to sustenance. Both Public And Private Banks have remained open throughout the lockdown and followed all
the recommended return to work plans.
ICICI and HDFC Banks have reduced the number of available staff inside the bank walls. These banks are promoting the use of digital transactions among users to make sure that all the social distancing norms are being taken care of and also to ensure the safety of their customers that are visiting the banks.
ICICI Bank communicated with its customers via SMS that said, “our branches shall remain open with required hygiene steps and reduced staff. For the same reason, our contact center will also function with reduced staff. We urge you to stay safe and bank from home using iMobile/Internet Banking for all essential banking services”.
HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and HSBC declared that the banks would remain open, but at the revised timings. These banks function from 10 AM to 2 PM. These banks have also urged their customers to opt for digitization to avoid physical contact as much as possible. HDFC Banks has also suspended passbook updates for the time being and the purchase services of foreign currency.
The public banks such as State Bank of India (SBI), the largest lender of the country has also reduced the hours from 7 hours on an average day to 3-4 hours during the lockdown. PK Gupta, ex MD SBI has advised customers to visit the bank specifically for essential services only.
As for safety measures, the employees of SBI are provided with masks and sanitizers in the offices. The customers are asked to stand at least 1 meter from the desk for maintaining social distance.
“In many states, we have restricted timings of our branch opening. Like in some states, it is 7-10 AM, in some states, it is 8-11 AM, and in some 10 AM to 2 PM,” PK Gupta, EX MD SBI was quoted as saying.
Further, in his statement, he also said that around 21000 branches of SBI would remain open throughout the country. The ATMs were also functional throughout the lockdown to remove any hindrances for the general public.
Moreover, SBI announced that with the help of CRS Funding, our bank would commit to approximately 0.25% of its annual profit (Financial Year 2020-2021) in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Another public bank named the Union Bank of India has taken various return to work measures to fight against the pandemic. This bank provided support with a service called ‘COVID Emergency Line of Credit’, aka CELC, that offers customers with some additional credit facilities for handling liquidity issues in the middle of this global emergency.
Additionally, cash withdrawal from another bank’s ATMs was announced free and minimum balance charges were waived off. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reduction of total costs on various digital transactions till June 30.
These return to work steps that are taken care of by the banking industry in this country not only help the public but also make sure that their employees who are risking their lives amidst the pandemic are treated well. These banks also undertook the safety of their customers under consideration, and hence came up with the vital uses of the digital revolution that is taking place globally.