RBI says banks will work full day on first and third Saturdays

Central bank allows banks to keep their branches closed on second and fourth Saturdays of the month

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given the go-ahead for all banks—public, private, foreign and co-operative—to keep their branches closed on second and fourth Saturdays of the month, effective from 1 September.

In exchange for the perk, bank branches will have to be open for full working hours every first and third Saturday. So far banks used to work half days on Saturday.

RBI’s approval follows a a notification to this effect issued by the finance ministry earlier this month following negotiations with banking unions.

RBI’s financial market segments like call money, repo and collateralised borrowing and lending obligation (CBLO) will also remain open on all working Saturdays like they do on a normal business day, the central bank said. However, the foreign exchange and government securities market will remain closed.

The central bank will also continue to operate repo, reverse repo as well as the marginal standing facility (MSF) windows on all working Saturdays.

Payments systems like real time gross settlement system (RTGS), national electronic fund transfer (NEFT) and electronic clearing service (ECS) will also operate for the duration of a full working day on first and third Saturdays, RBI said.

RBI’s regional offices will remain open on the first and third Saturdays to support the financial markets and payment systems.

“The above arrangements will be reviewed after six months," RBI said in a statement.