Money & Banking

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

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 23, 2020 Published 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

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.