Italian banking group UniCredit has shuttered 70% of its branch network in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The move follows last week when Italian unions approved UniCredit’s decision to temporarily shutter its branches.
As part of the move, the bank will keep 3,900 of its branches open and provide regional coverage to customers for their banking needs.
The branches will open in the morning and on alternate days.
Customers will have to take an appointment before visiting the branches.
To protect its employees from the virus, the bank has provided plexiglass separation screens, masks, disinfectant gel and gloves.
In your opinion, what presents the biggest operational challenge for FS providers in the COVID-19 crisis?
- Switching to large scale homeworking (51%, 162 Votes)
- Retraining the staff (32%, 102 Votes)
- Changing operating hours of branches and call centres (17%, 54 Votes)
Total Voters: 318
In a statement, the bank said: “The health and well-being of employees and customers is UniCredit’s top priority.
“UniCredit has taken decisive actions to guarantee Italian-wide service coverage for its clients while protecting the health of both its employees and customers.”
The bank is continuously enabling remote working and also offering paid leaves if the staff is not able to work remotely as well.
All the Italian banks have trimmed their operating hours and are rotating staff to minimise their exposure to the virus.
Italy is currently in a nationwide shutdown. The country has reported the highest fatalities in the world, taking over China.
The virus outbreak in Italy has claimed 7,503 lives and the number of infected cases has increased to 74,386.
Banks in Europe are urging customers to use digital banking for their daily banking needs to limit the spread of the virus.
Banks around the world are working to keep their business running amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Recently, Santander shuttered approximately 50% of branches in Spain.
BBVA USA closed nearly 637 branches to curb the Covid-19 spread.