Myanmar central bank reinstates banking hours after complaints emerge

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has reinstated banking hours to 9.30am-3pm starting May 12, after businesses and the public urged it to reconsider the current hours in the country.

The CBM on April 28 instructed local banks to open from 10am to 2pm for the duration of COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus among bank employees and for banking operations to continue smoothly.

But since the opening hours have been compressed, the banks have instead been getting more crowded as clients rush to conduct their banking affairs within a shorter timeframe.

“Customers are facing difficulties and the banks are getting more crowded. Actually, the CBM should have expanded the banks’ operating hours instead of reducing them,” said U Maung Maung Lay, vice president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

He added that the chamber had been receiving a rising number of complaints by businesses about the current banking hours.

Gold traders were among the businesses affected by the shorter opening hours. “We can’t be effective in our business with the banks crowded with customers. It is too time consuming,” said U Zaw Aung, owner of Tate Sein gold shop. He added that reduced banking hours had caused a decline in gold sales.

U Zaw Aung and many other businesses called for the hours to go back to normal.

U Pe Myint, managing director of CB Bank, said the hours were shortened temporarily for the safety of bank employees. The bank has separated its employees into two groups. The groups alternate their working hours at the bank to ensure safe social distancing, U Pe Myint said. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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