Banks faced a heavy rush of transactions on Sunday as people crowded in banks to withdraw cash and make necessary payments ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of Muslims.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) sources said the volume of banking transactions have crossed a record Tk 105 billion on Sunday though the average daily transactions remain between Tk 60 billion and Tk 70 billion in regular times.Banks have settled 1.20 lakh cheques of around Tk 89.67 billion high-value transactions and over Tk 60 billion regular transactions. Usually, banks have to settle 60,000 to 70,000 cheques in a single day but after the weekend, the number of cheques jumped to 1.20 lakh on Sunday, BB sources said.
Besides, 8 lakh transactions took place through the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) on Sunday, involving around about Tk 20 billion.
Md. Serajul Islam, the spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank, said banks usually face a heavy rush of transactions ahead of Eid, but banking transactions exceeding Tk 100 billion is a new record.
On Sunday, people have crowed at bank branches in the city just after the services opened at 10.00 am on the day. Most banks struggled with a long queue of clients which got lengthened as the day rolled.
Employees of the banks were hard-pressed to provide services due to the strict health protocols ordered by the government and the Bangladesh Bank.
Long queues were seen in front of bank branches in Motijheel, Dilkush, Mogbazar, Eskaton, Mailbag, Rampura and many other parts of the capital city. A customer had to wait for around an hour in some areas to get service from banks.Abdul Mannan, Deputy Managing Director of Sonali Bank, said bank officials were providing service maintaining health guidelines, which made waiting time for customers a bit longer than the regular times.
The Mobile Financial Services (MFSs) bkash and Nagad also handled a heavy rush of transactions on Sunday. During May 1-8, bkash handled Tk 22 billion per day on an average which was Tk 14 to 16 billion earlier. Nagad’s transactions soared to Tk 5.5 billion per day during the same period.
Banks that have online facilities for cash deposits and withdrawals have been asked to ensure the smooth operations of deposit services.
The government has imposed strict restrictions from April 14 to which later extended to May 16 to prevent coronavirus infection. The BB has extended limited banking hours to 10 am to 2 pm considering people convenient banking.