Bangladesh Bank has extended bank transaction hours to 2:30 pm from Monday.
The central bank issued a notification on Sunday increasing the daily transaction time by half an hour, which was earlier from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm during the current lockdown restrictions.Earlier the businesspeople called for an extension of transaction hours.
Meanwhile, the government announced that the lockdown restrictions would continue May 30, 2021. The BB issued the notification to all the banks in compliance with the Cabinet Division's latest directives on the countrywide lockdown to contain coronavirus infection.
The banks can keep their offices open until 4:00 pm to do their necessary ancillary activities, said the notification. Currently, the banks have been operating transactions from 10 am to 2 pm while in the usual business days they operate from 10 pm to 4 pm.
The BB circular said all other instructions will remain unchanged as per the circular issued on 13 April, 2021.
In that circular, it said banks can keep one non-AD branch open within a 2km radius in the city corporation areas and at upazila level one branch of each bank can remain open on Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday.
Banks have to take measures to provide transport facilities for the staff during the period.The BB circular said during the banking transaction hours, banks have to ensure different kinds of services including clearing of cheques, withdrawal and deposits of money, money transfer, the release of remittance, encashment of different instruments and also receipt of the payments of bills of different utilities.
BB said banks have to continue services like disbursement of loans, incentives, payment of salaries of different industries and also the purchase of export bills, loan sanction and distribution.
The BB instruction also asked banks to keep adequate banknotes at ATM booths with ensuring health protection and sanitization measures. In addition BB asked to ensure uninterrupted internet banking service with adequate support services. The evening banking and weekly holiday banking activities will remain closed as per earlier instruction.