5-day long bank holiday coming? Here’s the truth and what you need to do

By: | Published: March 26, 2018 3:11 PM

Some media reports and social media posts claim that banks will remain closed for five consecutive days from 29th March to 2nd April, 2018. However, what is the truth?

bank holidays 2018, bank holidays list 2018, bank holiday india, bank holiday, bank holiday good friday 2018, HDFC Bank, SBI, Industry experts say that given that banking has become digital with CBS systems in place, business should run as usual in most cases as services like IMPS, ATM withdrawals and UPI payments should function as normal.

Bank customer? There is need to hurry up and finish your banking works, like making a DD or opening a bank account etc, over the next two days as a string of bank holidays are claimed to be lined up till April 2nd starting from March 29th this week.

Some media reports and social media posts, in fact, claim that banks in India will remain closed for five consecutive days from 29th March to 2nd April, 2018. For instance, banks will be shut for Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday, which fall on 29th March and 30th March, respectively. Then 31st March (that is Saturday) is the year closing day and then comes Sunday (1st April). Banks will also not work on 2nd April (Monday) for the annual closing work. This means a long bank holiday is coming, which will not only disrupt financial transactions of many industries as well as salary payments, among others, but will also hit individual customers who may require banking services for various reasons.

However, when contacted, some bank spokespersons said that it is just a rumour that banks will be continuously closed for five days. They said that while banks will remain closed on 29th March and 30th March, respectively, for Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday holidays, some of them will work full time on Saturday. However, in some banks only corporate offices will remain open. Some banks may also make some special arrangements for the convenience of their customers, like working for, say, two hours for customers. Thus, it may vary from bank to bank.

Meanwhile a union leader also said today that banks will not remain closed for five consecutive days starting from Thursday. “Banks will work on March 31 (Saturday) and there is no continuous holidays as per messages in the social media,” D Thomas Franco Rajendra Dev, General Secretary of the All India Bank Officers Confederation, told IANS.

Dev informed that banks will remain closed on Thursday and Friday due to Mahavir Jayanthi and Good Friday. On Saturday banks will remain open since it is the 5th Saturday of the month. “Banks are only closed on 2nd and 4th Saturdays. On 2nd April, banks will remain closed for the annual closing of accounts,” he said.

So far as the rumour about ATMs running dry is concerned, most bank ATMs will work during these days as a majority of banks have outsourced the ATM management to third parties. Therefore, ATM cash management is no longer dependent on the concerned banks.

Whatever be the case, if you were planning to use the services of your bank over the next one week or are one of those who need banking services on a day to day basis, then it would be in your own interest to plan properly and finish your work in the next two days to avoid any convenience. Even if banks remain open on Saturday, there may be some rush of customers.

Industry experts say that given that banking has become digital with CBS systems in place, business should run as usual in most cases as services like IMPS, ATM withdrawals and UPI payments should function as normal.

“However, any service request that requires an additional mandatory check from the bank servers, like RTGS, cheque clearance and more, will be hit. Since it is the closing of the financial year, make sure to finish any unfinished business with your bank before the bank break starts. Business owners and professionals who are heavily dependent on RTGS transfers for larger sums should plan ahead,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com.

You will also do well to keep some cash at home for any emergency.

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