Money & Banking

Covid-19: SLBC convenors urged to prepare business continuity plans

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 23, 2020

 

 

Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has requested convenor banks of State-Level Bankers’ Committees (SLBCs) and Lead District Managers to consult the State administration and chalk out feasible Business Continuity Plans.

This comes in the context of the proposed lockdown and suspension of public transport services announced by many local authorities/State governments to curtail the spread of Covid-19 across geographies.

Empowering regional heads

The IBA wrote to chief executives of member banks on Sunday pointing to the need for business continuity plans and asked them to empower their regional/zonal/circle heads to take appropriate decisions in the matter.

SLBC convenors should also take concurrence of the Regional Director of Reserve Bank of India for implementation of the plan. The MDs and CEOs of the SLBC convenor banks may take the lead in providing guidance to the State Convenor and member banks in the State for effective implementation of the plan, IBA said.

Uninterrupted roll-out

All banks have been requested to prepare such plans with a view to ensuring uninterrupted roll-out of banking services through alternate delivery channels for the convenience of the public.

The IBA also suggested that member banks may selectively keep their branches open at such locations after due consultations with the local state government/authorities to carry out basic essential transactions.

Crowding at branches

Meanwhile, despite all these preventive action plans against the spread of the virus, sources in the banking industry in Kerala point to crowding at many bank branches, especially at the rural and semi-urban branches.

A Raghavan, Joint Secretary, National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and General Secretary, State Banks’ Staff Union, Kerala Circle, called for urgent attention of local bodies and the police in the matter.

The IBA as well as banks should come out with a policy initiative that seeks to curtain non-essential banking activities for a limited period. The public should take it in the right sense and cooperate, Raghavan said.

Handling cash

Raghavan also drew attention to the handling of cash, another worrying aspect. Employees handling cash are advised to use protective gloves. But in many banks, employees are facing severe risk since the biometric access to the system has not been disabled.

He also added that the reduction in number of staff announced by SBI should take place in the branches, instead of in the Administrative Offices.

Published on March 23, 2020

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