In the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the country, State Bank of India (SBI) reportedly introduced different banking timings for transactions in its branches in a bid to restrict customers in the bank and maintain social distancing system, said a news report.
SBI implemented staggered time slots for banking hours across the branches in the country after discussions with the respective state governments, said a report in Mint quoting the state-run lender's managing director PK Gupta.
Taking safety measures for its employees, SBI started providing masks and sanitisers in their offices and advising the customers to keep at least 1 meter distance while in the queue, the report said.
"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," Gupta was quoted as saying in the report.
The nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak has led to a decline in banking transactions at SBI but customers are using online and digital modes as usual, reported PTI.
Online transactions are going on but overall there is a decline in banking activities, Gupta said.
He mentioned that amid the lockdown, the bank is coordinating with state and district authorities on the opening of branches and the time period of operations.
He said in the last two days, most of SBI branches were open with a staggered time slot and transactions were witnessed on both the days.
"The number of transactions which we did on Monday was about half of that on normal days, and at branches, the number of transactions is even one-fourth actually," Gupta said.
He mentioned that SBI is giving banking services to whosoever is able to reach its branches. "We are able to provide most of the services at branches," he said.
On Friday, the Department of Financial Services denied the rumours on bank branch closure in the country and said customer service at bank branches will remain operational and will continue to provide services.
"Sufficient cash across branches and ATMs. Don't trust rumours of branch closures. Customers are requested to stagger arrival at Branches etc," said Debasish Panda, secretary, Department of Financial Services.
However, almost all the bank branches will be open for limited hours only. In order to reduce public gathering, the banks have urged their customers to avail net-banking or mobile banking services in case of non-essential activities during this period, the department said.
-- With PTI inputs
Updated Date: Mar 27, 2020 17:24:49 IST