Convenience of customers is important for the banks, ATMs available for cash transactions
GN Bureau | April 2, 2015
While State Bank of India is going to extend the banking hours at all its branches in Maharashtra on April 4 (Saturday is normally half day) after three days of holidays, premier private sector bank ICICI Bank is keeping half of its 4,000 branches open for business on Thursday.
Banking operations have been affected this week by closing of accounts for fiscal year 2014-15, which is immediately followed by a long weekend on account of Mahavir Jayanti (April 2) and Good Friday (April 3).
However, "it has been decided to extend the banking hours at our branches in Maharashtra by two hours on April 4 for the convenience of our customers," SBI said in a statement.
Meanwhile, ICICI Bank kept its half of its 4,000 branches open for general business on Thursday. "Our branches will remain open and will operate as per regular business hours on April 2, except for branches in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh," ICICI Bank, the country's largest private lender, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Cheques deposited on Thursday will be sent for clearing on the next working day, but customers can do other transactions like fund transfers, deposits and cash withdrawal.
Last month, industry body Assocham had sought the intervention of RBI and the government to avoid inconvenience to customers as banks will be shut for over a week from March 28 due to holidays.
It said the holiday season, coupled with annual closing for the financial year will result in a lot of disruption in financial transactions in the stock markets, normal commercial deals, export shipments, import consignments and salary payments.
“We would urge the RBI to step in and advise the banks to make some arrangements. With the government being the majority owners of the public sector banks, the Finance Ministry should also prevail on the bank managements to avoid this kind of huge customer inconvenience and widespread disruption to the business environment,' Assocham secretary-general DS Rawat had said.
The chamber had said while the ATMs would remain operational, there are problems owing to functioning and accessibility.
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