Banking transaction hours have been extended further by 90 minutes with effect from May 10, said a Bangladesh Bank circular on Tuesday.
During general holidays to curb transmission of coronavirus, the transaction hours were rescheduled from 10am to 1pm.
The circular, issued by Off-site Supervision Department of the central bank, said transaction activities will go on from 10am to 2:30pm including a 15 minutes break for prayer from 1:15pm everyday from May 10 until further order.
“The decision was taken to facilitate the continued necessary banking services for country’s trade and business during the Ramadan and [ahead of] Eid-ul-Fitr against the backdrop of the government’s extension of general holidays to prevent the coronavirus outbreak,” said the circular.
Banks can keep their headquarters and concerned offices open until 3:30pm during the period for their own activities, it added.
The Bangladesh Bank also ordered banks having online facilities to keep at least one branch open at each upazila considering their distance to facilitate the transactions of their clients.
“If any such banks have more than one branch, they can operate one by one through by-rotation,” it said adding that in such case, the clients must be informed about the matter.
The banks must keep open at least one branch everyday at each thana area in the metropolitan cities. They can keep operate more than one branch if necessary, the BB said.
Bangladesh Bank said banks must keep open at least one of their branches at important locations at district level while all branches of the authorised dealers category banks must be open in metropolitan cities and divisional headquarters.
All bank branches must remain open in Motijheel and Dilkhusha in Dhaka and Khatunganj and Agrabad in Chattogram and also those located in the labour-intensive industrial areas, it said.
The central bank asked the banks to ensure different kind of banking services like deposit and withdrawal of money, payment of labours by industry owners, DD/Pay Order issue, treasury chaplain, payment of different government remunerations under different social programmes, foreign remittance disbursement, loan approval and disbursement and also the payment of utility bills by consumers during the banking services.
The Bangladesh Bank also asked all banks to ensure adequate notes at ATM booths and maintain health guidelines during their bank operation.
To compensate bankers working during the general holidays, the central bank in a circular last month said they will get one month’s salary as special incentive for 10 working days during the general holidays.
In a separate circular, Bangladesh Bank said any bank employee who will be infected with Covid-19 during working in the bank will get Tk 5-10 lakh as insurance coverage and in case of death, the victim’s family will get five times the amount as special grant.