Several banks have revised their operating times and suspended non-essential banking services because of the rising novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India. Banking services like passbook updates, counter cheque collections have been restricted as the banks promote social distancing.
Many banks have also requested users to avoid visits to branches and go digital with mobile banking, internet banking, UPI/QR payments.
Private players - IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank - will now remain open for four hours and will continue to provide essential services like cash deposits, cash withdrawals, government transactions and clearing of cheques. Banks have instructed their employees to stay at home in case they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
HDFC Bank has suspended services like passbook updates and foreign currency purchases. While the counter cheques collection service is halted, bank customers can still deposit cheques in the cheque-drop boxes. HDFC Bank has changed its operation timings from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm until March 31.
India's largest bank SBI has not changed its working hours but, has barred services like account opening, cash withdrawals, passbook printing, currency exchange services.
Canara Bank has also made no revisions in the work timings but, has reduced non-essential services -- passbook printing, currency exchange. The bank has also reportedly asked its staff to not have over 15 per cent of its total working strength in the office.
ICICI Bank has reduced its operating time from 10 am to 2 pm till March 31 but hasn't suspended any banking services so far.
Punjab National Bank has also not changed its working hours or services.