State Bank of India (SBI) has resorted to staggering its branch timings as the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Since Monday, most of the SBI branches in the country have been opened only for a limited period of time.
SBI retail, payments & digital banking managing director PK Gupta told PTI: “What our people are doing at the local level is that in consultation with the state governments or with the district authorities, they are deciding on which branches to open, how many to open and for how much time to open.
“In many states, we have restricted timings of our branch opening. Like in some states, it is 7-10 am, in some states it is 8-11 am and in some states, it is 10 am to 2 pm.”
The move is in line with the bank’s efforts to maintain social distancing to curb the spread of the virus.
The bank is providing sanitizers and masks to its employees who are attending the office.
The administration staffs have been instructed to work on alternative days.
Customers are advised to use SBI’s mobile ATM services to take out money without visiting the ATM.
The Indian government has urged all the banks in the country to operate with only skeletal staff to curb the spread of the virus.
Many banks like HDFC, ICICI, Standard Chartered, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank and others have also revised their branch timings in the wake of the outbreak.
Lockdown leads to drop in bank transactions
The lockdown, which will last until 15 April 2020 unless further extended, has led to a decline in the bank transactions as well.
Gupta added: “The number of transactions which we did on Monday was about half of that on a normal day, and at branches, the number of transactions is even one-fourth actually.”
The bank, however, reported that the online and digital transactions are going on normally and 90% of its ATMs are operating as usual.
Banks around the world have urged their customers to use digital and online means to meet their banking requirements.
The number of Covid-19 cases in India has crossed more than 600 and the virus has claimed around 10 lives.