On the heels of several instances of anti-social elements behaving in an unruly manner with bankers coming to light, the Finance Ministry has asked the States to deal with such incidents with a firm hand and take stern action with full force of law.

This must be done to protect the bankers’ and assure the public of secured access to and unhindered availability of banking services, said the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all States.

Delivery of essential services, including banking, is all the more important in the present context of the pandemic, said the DFS.

The States have been asked to appropriately sensitise and instruct District Magistrates and State police to take the necessary measures. It may be recalled that last month a woman employee of Syndicate Bank (now Canara Bank) was attacked by a police constable at its Saroli Branch in Surat, Gujarat.

Following this incident, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had assured that the safety of all members of staff in banks would be given utmost attention.

After this incident, there have been couple of similar attacks of bank employees in other States, prompting the Finance Ministry to now write a letter to all States, sources said.

The DFS has now called for public communication of the State’s resolve and actions to deal firmly with miscreants, stating that this would also help in deterring miscreants and instilling confidence in the public and the banking community.