In a bid to carry out basic essential financial transactions, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has directed banks to open only few branches in areas that are now under lockdown across the country in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a communique posted late in the night to the heads of banks, the IBA had requested the state level SLBC convenor banks and lead district managers to consult the state administration proactively to decide a practicable Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
“Keeping this in view, after due deliberation, it is suggested that member banks may selectively keep their branches open at such locations after due consultation with the local state government/authorities to carry out the basic essential transactions,” the IBA said.
The association had also directed the CEO of banks to empower their regional or zonal or circle heads to take appropriate decision in the matter.
“State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) convenors should also take concurrence of the regional director of RBI for implementation of BCP prepared by them. The MD & CEOs of the SLBC convenor banks may take the lead in providing guidance to the SLBC convenor and member banks in the state for effective implementation of the contingency plan,” it said.
The IBA directed all banks to develop BCP for constant availability of banking services via alternate delivery channels for the expediency of the public and expressed hope that all the member lenders will rise to the occasion to collectively pass through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association had also directed the customers to go for online and mobile banking medium for making their transactions and avoid visiting bank branches as it could pose a risk to banks’ front desk staff.