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SBP directs all banks to remain open across country during lockdown

SBP directs all banks to remain open across country during lockdown
March 24, 2020
KARACHI (92 News) – The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) directed all the banks to remain open across Pakistan during lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The SBP announced a change in bank timings as several cities of the country are under a lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak. The notification regarding the new timings also has been issued. In a notification, the SBP announced banks will remain open from 10:00am to 4:30pm till further notice with “bare minimum staff”. All the branches of banks were also directed that the branch should be closed temporarily if any employ medical tests positive for coronavirus. The SBP also ordered all banks to ensure money availability in the ATMs, adding that customers should be provided facilities regarding the digital and online services.
SBP to ensure provision of disinfected cash
Earlier, the SBP has taken several measures to facilitate the financial consumers during coronavirus crisis including provision of disinfected cash and round-the-clock availability of ATMs in the country. “Banks will provide fit, authenticated and disinfected cash. SBP will ensure to clean, disinfect, seal and quarantine all cash being collected from hospitals and clinics and to block circulation of such cash in the market,” the central bank said. Private banks have been ensured that SBP has sufficient quantity of fresh cash to meet the demand, read the statement. “All critical functions and systems required to provide banking services, including Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) will remain available as usual even during the lock downs.” The official communique further read, “continuous availability of ATMs will be ensured by keeping them up and running 24/7 by the banks. Banks’ call centers and helplines must also be operative 24/7 and timely resolution of the complaints shall be ensured.”