The Bangladesh Bank has extended banking transaction hours by one hour until May 16, amid the ongoing lockdown.
Earlier, the banking hours were from 10:00am to 1:00pm till May 5.
During the extended lockdown period, banks will remain open from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Bankers may stay in the offices until 3.30pm for back office work.
The central bank’s Off-Site Supervision Department issued a circular in this regard on Wednesday.
Banking operations on a limited scale will continue until May 16, except for weekends and public holidays.
Employees of banks and non-bank financial institutions must be at their respective workplaces during the Eid holidays.
Bank branches in readymade garments industrial areas of Dhaka, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Mymensingh’s Bhaluka, Narayanganj, and Chattogram, will remain open on May 10 and 13 in accordance with hygiene rules (subject to Eid-ul-Fitr being on May 14).
The Department of Financial Institutions and Markets of the central bank on Wednesday directed non-bank financial institutions to run transactions on a limited scale until May 16, except for public and weekly holidays.
The Off-Site Supervision Department’s circular also said other instructions in the circular issued on April 13 would also remain in force.
In a circular on April 13, the Bangladesh Bank said bank headquarters, authorized dealer branches, and district-level head offices will remain open during the lockdown restrictions.
Also, one branch (if the authorized dealer branch is not open) will remain open at every two kilometres in city corporation areas. At the upazila level, a single branch of a bank will remain open on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Apart from this, branches, sub-branches, and bank booths in the vicinity of sea, land, and air ports will remain open. Port authorities and local administration are to take appropriate measures in enforcing health safety guidelines.
For NBFIs, one branch in the capital and another office outside Dhaka will remain open until May 5.
The Bangladesh Bank instructed banks to continue operations with a limited workforce and to ensure transport for bank staff.
On April 22, the central bank said if banks are unable to arrange transportation for their staff, they are to pay a travel allowance to their staff. The banks were told to pay the allowances on account of the additional travel costs due to movement restrictions.
They also instructed banks to keep enough cash in ATM booths and the daily withdrawal limit from ATMs has been increased from Tk 50,000 to Tk 1 lakh.
Mobile banking agent points were also instructed to keep a sufficient amount of cash.