Bangladesh Bank (BB) has extended banking hours to 3pm from Monday (today) as the government extended ongoing COVID-19 restrictions till 6 June.
The central bank in a notification on Sunday extended the banking hours from 10 am to 3 pm. The earlier schedule was from 10am to 2.30pm.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 open offices until 4.30 pm to do their necessary ancillary activities, said the BB notification.
Currently, the banks have been operating transactions from 10 am to 2.30 pm while in the normal situation they operate from 10 pm to 4 pm.
The BB circular said all other instructions will remain unchanged as per the circular of 13 April.
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 also asked the banks to keep adequate banknotes at ATM booths with ensuring health protection and sanitization measures.
In addition, the central bank asked to ensure uninterrupted internet banking services with adequate support services.
The evening banking and weekly holiday banking activities will remain closed as per earlier instruction.
The bank branch, sub-branch, booth of the bank located in the sea, land, airports and customs house area have to be kept open to ensure compliance of health rules in consultation with the local administration and port or customs authorities.