The State Bank of Pakistan (Banking Policy and Regulations Department L.L Chundrigar Road Karachi) issued the notification on 23rd March 2020 at Karachi. This notification is about the measures for availability of financial services. The BRBD Circular Letter no. 08 of 2020 to the Presidents/ Chief Executive Officers and All Banks/ MFBS are intimated about this fact. So, the further details are as below;
Measures for availability and continuity of financial services – COVID-19.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has emerged as a pandemic and threat to the global economy. The whole world has taken a number of steps to contain the menace of this virus in Pakistan, too, is a part of this global fight. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is constantly evaluating the situation and implementing a number of measures to ensure the continuity of banking services during these difficult times.
In this context, the banking industry was advised to vide BPRD’s email of March 22, 2020, to devise a mechanism for the provision of essential banking services by at least, focusing on certain critical areas. Now, to bring further clarity and smoothening of operational modalities, banks, DFIs and MFBs are further advised and reiterated that;
- All branches/ work places will remain open, throughout Pakistan with bare minimum staff for ensuring the continuity of essential banking services. Under the arrangement, form March 24, 2020, branches/ work places will open (from Monday to Friday) at 10:00 am and close at 4:30 am till further instructions by SBP.
- In case of identification of any COVID-19 case in branch/ work premises or unforeseen event or untoward happening or any other emergency situation, branches/ work places may be temporarily closed/ relocated under intimation to SBP.
- Ensure uninterrupted availability of all ATM services, digital and alternate delivery channels for the facilitation of customers. Further, be vigilant and take measures to proactivity mitigate cybersecurity risks associated with these channels.
- RTGs and all call centres will remain functional. Moreover, to facilitate trade-related business, Trade Hubs of banks in all major cities will remain operational through with bare minimum staff.
- Critical staff will carry their Original CNC & Service Card at all times with them. However, if due to any reason, critical staff do not currently have their Original CNIC ad Service Card with them, there to facilitate their movement to work places, a letter certifying their employment may be issued by their respective institutions. A similar arrangement may also be followed for those companies who provide cash collection and delivery services.
- The guidelines issued by World Health Organization, the Government of Pakistan and the Provincial Governments shall be implemented, in letter and spirit, to ensure the safety and health of employees and customers and cleanliness at the workplace,
- Please acknowledge receipt.
Muhammad Akhtar Javed