India has imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though banks are still operating, they have implemented several safety measures to protect their staff and customers. Nationally banks have reduced operational timings, decreased staff, and offer only essential services.
Changes in Banking Operations during the Lockdown
Here, in this guide, let’s take a look at how banking operations have altered because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
1.Banks to offer only Essential Services
The IBA (Indian Banks Association) has announced that banks will offer only a few services until the nationwide lockdown has been completely lifted. Essential services include:
Cash deposit and withdrawal
Government transactions and remittances
Customers are encouraged to visit the bank only when absolutely necessary. All other non-essential services have been temporarily suspended.
Services that have been temporarily suspended include:
Foreign currency exchange
Delay in delivery of new cheque books, credit/debit cards
New loan sanctions and investments
To curb the spread of the virus, customers are encouraged to use ATMs for essential services like cash withdrawal and deposits. All ATM machines are frequently sanitized, and the premises are wiped down regularly.
2.Customers are encouraged to use Digital Banking
All banks have sent out emails, text messages to customers encouraging them to use digital banking channels.
Avoid visiting banks to reduce crowding at ATMs and bank branches. Instead, carry out your banking transactions using mobile apps or internet banking.
Opt for digital payment methods like IMPS, NEFT, or UPI to pay your utility bills and other transactions.
3.Banks to Operate with Limited Staff
Banks have reduced staff capacity from 5 to 25% to reduce crowding and to practice social distancing, to curb the spread of the virus. The staff is working on rotational shifts until the end of the lockdown.
4.Face Masks a Must for Customers and Staff
All customers visiting the bank have to wear face masks. Most banks offer sanitizers for customers to clean their hands before they enter the branch. Additionally, all banks have instructed customers to stand in line while maintaining the required social distancing norms.
Not just customers, bank staff are also instructed to maintain hygiene strictly. Staff use face masks and gloves while sanitizing their hands regularly.
5.Social Distancing norms for Customers
Only a limited number of customers are allowed within the branch at all times. Generally, the number of customers permitted at a time is less than ten.
Which bank branches are open during the lockdown?
The IBA has stated that banks may decide which branches they want to keep in operation during the lockdown. The decision is made after consulting local and state authorities. Generally, banks in containment zones are not permitted to open, while other branches remain in operation. If any new area is classified as a containment zone, then all banking activities in that area may be suspended immediately.
Make sure to get in touch with your branch via telephone or reach the centralized customer care team of your bank to find out whether your home branch is open or not. If your home branch is not open, you can visit any other branch near to you, for essential services that cannot be done digitally.
What is the timing for banks during the lockdown?
Banks across the country have revised their operational timings amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. Generally, all banks remain open from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm on all working days till further announcements. However, the actual timing of your branch may vary. However, note that customers can continue to use online banking channels 24 x 7, as always.
Here is the updated list of bank operational timings for various leading banks.
|Name of the Bank||Working Time|
|Axis Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|Canara Bank||10:00 am to 4:00 pm|
|Citibank||10:00 am to 4:00 pm|
|Federal Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|HDFC Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|HSBC Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|ICICI Bank||9:30 am to 4:30 pm|
|Indian Bank||10:00 am to 4:00 pm|
|Indian Overseas Bank||10:00 to 4:00 pm|
|IndusInd Bank||10:00 am to 4:00 pm|
|Karur Vysya Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|Punjab National Bank||Regular banking hours (after 11th May)|
|RBL Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|State Bank of India||10:00 am to 2:00 pm
(in some states the operational timing is from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, whereas in others it is 8:00 am to 11:00 am)
|Standard Chartered Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
|Tamilnad Mercantile Bank||10:00 am to 4:00 pm|
|Yes Bank||10:00 am to 2:00 pm|
Make sure to verify the bank timings before visiting your branch
We highly encourage you to carry out banking transactions from your home using digital banking channels. Visit your branch only when absolutely necessary. And, make sure to confirm the operation timings of your branch before visiting them. Don’t forget to wear face masks as you may not be allowed in without it.