Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that she had extensive conversations with the heads of banks who were assured of customer service without interruption and kept all offices open. Lauding bankers’ efforts at this difficult time, the minister said it is encouraging to know that they are doing their best even during the lockdown.
“Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman made one-to-one calls today with CMDs from all banks in the public sector. @TheOfficialSBI @pnbindia @MyIndianBank @canarabank @UnionBankTweet s @IOBIndia @ AllBank1865 @bank_andhra @BankofIndia_IN @bankofbaroda @mahabank @centralbank_in @ CorporationBan2 ”said a tweet.
She also assured that she will talk to states and ensure that there are no restrictions on the movement of cash, bankers, sellers or bank mitras. “I had a detailed conversation with the heads of banks – public and private. Encouraging to know that they are doing their best even during the lockdown. They are confident that they will guarantee customer service without interruption. Social distance is also adhered to, ”Sitharaman said in another tweet.
She also asked the heads of banks to ensure that there was enough money in ATMs, branches and bank correspondents. The virtual meeting was also attended by Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda and Joint Secretaries Madnesh Kumar Mishra and Suchindra Mishra with the Financial Services Department.
During the conversation, she also instructed CEOs to ensure that all branches and ATMs remain open and continue their operations.
In addition, she advised them to authorize and coordinate bank employees with the district administration for smooth passage of bank employees. The government announced a range of measures earlier this week, including a direct transfer of cash assistance payments to the poor, the elderly and the disabled, to mitigate the hardships resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.
“The entire banking association deserves recognition and thanks for their tireless and courageous efforts to ensure that banking services continue to exist in these difficult times and that each customer is reached in a timely and safe manner,” she said. Appreciating the efforts of bankers, she said, “Bank officials and staff are always at the forefront of providing services to customers in these times of adversity, whether it be providing physical cash where it is needed or having branches open whatever happens “.
According to the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), 1.05,988 bank branches were operational across the country on Friday. However, the banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday. The Minister of Finance also asked customers to adapt to digital banking and avoid visiting bank branches.
“PSB employees and customers across India who practice #SocialDistancing. Kudos to bankers who provide the necessary service during these test times. Customers are being asked (asked) to change #NetBanking #MobileBanking and visit the branch only if they have to, ”she said.
Many banks have decided to introduce mobile ATMs to reduce the pressure on offices.
To serve the people at risk of traveling for cash withdrawals, Indian Bank has taken the initiative to deploy its mobile ATM, the bank said in a statement.
The mobile ATM machine will move through the designated city and stay in each place for a period of time, it said, adding that it will facilitate the public’s ease of pulling money close to the houses.
Meanwhile, the IBA has called on customers to strictly observe social distances and avoid visiting branches unless it is very necessary.