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BB scales down banking hours amid surge in corona cases

BB scales down banking hours amid surge in corona cases

Bangladesh Bank has re-fixed banking hours for customers to 12.30 p.m. as the coronavirus crisis intensified. The central bank on Thursday (Apr 9) issued a circular, ordering banks to remain open until 2 p.m. and conduct transactions between 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., starting on Sunday (Apr 12).

The new banking hours will be applicable to bank branches that have remained open during the lockdown from Apr 12, local media reported.

The government has been enforcing a countrywide shutdown since Mar 26 in an effort to limit the spread of the outbreak but banks have been asked to remain open as an emergency service on a limited scale.

The banking hours were changed three times during the shutdown. Initially, the central bank fixed the banking hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with the banks remaining open until 1.30 p.m.

On Apr 2, the banking hours were extended to 1 p.m. for customers. Finally, the banking hours were rescheduled from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., starting on Sunday.

However, the banks may keep some of their branches open until 1.30 p.m. for foreign currency transactions.

Those banks located in the coronavirus cluster areas should remain closed, Bangladesh Bank said. It also ordered the banks to ensure the social distancing measure is maintained in the banks.