Assault on bankers has got FinMin worried: ‘Safety of bankers must; banks crucial for economy’

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Published: July 9, 2020 12:34 PM

After various assault instances on bankers surfaced in the country in recent time, the Finance Ministry has directed states to ramp up security measures for banks’ personnel.

Banking premises must be secured and banking operations must be available to the public at all times so that households can meet their expenses and access benefits.  (Reuters)

After various assault instances on bankers surfaced in the country in recent time, the Finance Ministry has directed states to ramp up security measures for banks’ personnel and take strict actions against the unruly. Stating that banking operations are crucial to the economy, the Department of Financial Services wrote in a letter to the chief secretary of states that in the light of rising incidences of unruly behaviour of anti-social elements against the bankers, the government needs to take stern actions, sources said, PTI reported. Especially in the current times, some of the most vulnerable sections of society need banks to facilitate government-benefits to them such as DBT transfers.

Further, banking premises must be secured and banking operations must be available to the public at all times so that households can meet their expenses and access benefits. Traders, farmers and other industries also rely upon banks to carry on economic activities. Delivery of essentials services including banking is all the more important in the present context of the coronavirus pandemic, the letter said.

In recent times, many instances of attacks on bank employees have come to light. Last month, a woman bank employee in Canara Bank, which was earlier known as Syndicate Bank, was attacked by a police constable at the bank’s Saroli branch in Surat, Gujarat. “Amid challenges, banks are extending all services to our people. Nothing should threaten their safety and dignity,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said then. She had also assured that the safety of all members of staff in banks is of utmost importance. After the Surat attack, other incidents also surfaced such as one in the Bank of India in Maharashtra.

“You would agree that such incidents need to be responded to proactively and with a firm hand, stern action taken against such elements with full force of law so that bankers are protected and the public assured of secured access to banking services,” the letter dated 7th July said.

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