Banks are seen packed with clients withdrawing money ahead of the 10-day holidays to prevent corona spread
Banks are facing huge cash withdrawal pressure from all types of clients ahead of the 10-day government holidays beginning on Wednesday announced to prevent further outbreak of pandemic coronavirus.
Over the last three days, banks in the capital were seen packed with clients withdrawing money.
The government announced general holidays from March 29 to April 02, while March 26 is a public holiday on the occasion of Independence Day. Normal weekly holidays fall on March 27, March 28, April 3 and April 4.
However, banks will remain open during the holidays, except for Fridays and Saturdays. Their transaction time was curtailed and reset from 10am to 12 noon — a step the central bank took only to meet banking emergencies of people during the crisis period.
“Now we are facing huge rush at almost all of our branches and ATM booths,” said an official at Dutch-Bangla Bank.
“People are frightened over COVID-19 virus, and opting for enough cash under a possible lockdown situation.”
While visiting different bank branches in the capital yesterday, it was found that bank officials were facing difficulties in handling large number of clients in long queues in front of banks’ cash counters.
Most of the clients were seen withdrawing cash to meet their urgent needs.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Trust Bank Ltd Sena kallan Bhaban Branch Manager Mahbubur Rahman said, “We are facing mad rush of clients seeking cash withdrawal. They are withdrawing huge amount of money to meet their essential needs in the virtual lockdown period.”
Rubel Hossain, a private job holder, standing at a cash counter of Trust Bank Sena Kallan branch said he came to withdraw cash fearing the government might announce complete lockdown, involving banks.
Rupa Akter, a senior banker at Bank Asia, said she had been facing a mad rush of clients for the last three days which was only similar to the situations bankers typically encountered before Eid vacations.
The central bank in a circular on March 22 asked all commercial banks to keep adequate cash at their branches and ATM booths to ensure unhindered services to their clients.
Bangladesh Bank already has taken several initiatives to inject fresh fund to the banking sector to mitigate any possible liquidity crisis during the pandemic coronavirus.