Money & Banking

Covid 2.0: UFBU urges IBA to restrict banking services to essential activities

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on April 22, 2021

Also, it seeks the realignment of banking hours to 3-4 hours a day.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has urged the Indian Banks’ Association to issue appropriate instructions to bank managements to restrict banking services to essential activities in view of the second wave of the pandemic.

In a letter to the association’s Chairman Rajkiran Rai G, UFBU underscored that the present pandemic situation has turned into a matter of grave concern.

“Bank branches, with continued footfalls and across the counter connect with customers, are potential hubs of infections.

“We are deeply distressed to constantly receive news about infections, hospitalisations and deaths of bank employees round the clock every day,” said Sanjeev K Bandlish, Convenor, UFBU.

Essential activities

UFBU, which is the umbrella body of nine trade unions in the banking sector, said banking services need to be restricted to essential activities – cash deposits and withdrawals, clearing of cheques, remittances and government transactions – till the situation is improves.

UFBU sought introduction of cluster/hub banking by identifying a few branches in each locality. This will enable working by rotation by bank employees.

The umbrella body also wants the realignment of banking hours/days to 3-4 hours a day and from Monday to Friday.

The letter said that during the entire post-lockdown period, nearly a thousand bank employees laid down their lives in the line of duty, having succumbed to the virus and nearly a lakh were infected.

“We strongly feel that any further delay in implementing the above measures as suggested to reduce exposure will be catastrophic and put millions of families of bank staff and the customers into severe risk of contamination and trigger a massive and uncontrollable outbreak of the contagion,” said Bandlish.

Meanwhile, Devidas Tuljapurkar, General Secretary, Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation, has requested the State Level Bankers’ Committee (Maharashtra) to issue suitable guidelines to banks so that customer entry in branch premises is restricted, social distancing is ensured at work place, and five-day week is implemented during the pandemic.

Published on April 21, 2021

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