Yesterday the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks temporarily reduced hours of doing business transaction at commercial Banks across the country as measures to fight against the Ebola virus that has killed many people.
According to a statement from the association they are in support of the measures taken by the Government of Sierra Leone to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.
Following a declaration on July 30, 2014, of a State of National Public Health Emergency, the Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks, (SLACB) has announced that effective yesterday a reduction in banks’ business hours are as follows, Branches in non-epicenters: Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. while Branches in epicenters i.e., Kenema and Kailahun: Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12.30 pm and there will be no Saturday Banking until further notice.
The Association also encouraged Bank customers to corporate with regards the washing of hands with chlorinated water prior to entering into banking premises.
Furthermore, in order to prevent overcrowding in banks’ lobbies, commercial Banks have also asked most respectfully that appreciable distances are maintained between persons that wait in queues and if necessary, customers would be asked most politely, to wait outside and shall be called in order, once again to limit any kind of overcrowding.
The association assured that each customer would be served and that these measures are simply meant to help reduce body contact, which health professionals have advised shall assist in limiting contagion.
The association said they are looking forward to the speedy resumption of normal business hours and operations.
Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Banks, (SLACB) is comprised of all thirteen registered commercial banks in the country which include Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Union Trust Bank, Zenith Bank (SL), Keystone Bank (SL), Skye Bank (SL), Rokel Commercial Bank, International Commercial Bank (SL), United Bank for Africa (SL), Access Bank (SL), First International Bank (SL), Guaranty Trust Bank (SL), Standard Chartered Bank (SL) and EcoBank (SL).
However, some customers told AWOKO yesterday that the temporary measures by the Commercial Banks are necessary to avoid the spread of the Ebola virus. Customers also called for opening of more cashier windows in the banking halls during salary payment especially during the end of the month as most Banks are usually crowded.
Friday August 15, 2014