Business And Markets

CBI Tells Banks to Restrict Work

Banks Restrict Work Amid Virus Spread Banks Restrict Work Amid Virus Spread

Banks and financial institutions in Iran have been advised to curtail operations and take effective precautionary hygiene measures, especially where the coronavirus is widespread, to protect bank staff and customers from the infectious disease.
The Association of Private Banks and Credit Institutions said Wednesday that banks in hard-hit regions are limiting the physical presence of staff and employees are told to come to work on alternate days.
“Some branches offer bank services with 50% staff and pregnant staff were told to work from home,” the association said in a letter to members, thanking them for taking strict hygiene measures to cope with epidemic, IBENA reported.
The Central Bank of Iran has reduced working hours of banks and urged customers to go to the banks only if necessary.
The regulator has also banned distribution of new banknotes over fears of spreading the virus. Giving family and relatives new banknotes as gift is a cherished tradition in Iran during the Nowruz (Persian New Year) festival.  
Protective hygiene measures were intensified following reports that some bank employees had died after being infected with the deadly virus. The Governor of Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati has reported at least six deaths of bank workers due to the illness.
Health officials have reported at least 9,000 cases of the novel coronavirus since its outbreak till Wednesday with the death toll rising to 354.  
CBI issued a notice on its website on Tuesday asking people to avoid using banknotes and use electronic payment instruments.
It said banknotes are one of the main ways the contagious disease spreads, urging bank clients to take protective measures during their presence in the banks.
Davoud Mohammad Beigi, the head of CBI’s Payment Systems Department, said earlier that the regulator is expanding infrastructure for contactless payment via QR codes and digital wallets to help limit the virus via banknotes or using debit cards in retail outlets.
QR code payment is a contactless payment method where payment is performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app.


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