Bank branches in Singapore close temporarily
As non-essential workplaces continue to be shuttered across Singapore as part of the country’s measures to combat COVID-19, banks in Singapore have moved to close selected branches until May 4.
DBS, Singapore’s largest bank , will progressively close 29 DBS/POSB branches islandwide. By April 14, only 28 DBS/POSB branches will continue to stay open with regular banking hours. All DBS Treasures and DBS Treasures Private Client centres will also be closed from April 9 to May 4.
With fewer branches operating during the circuit breaker period, DBS will take the opportunity to allow staff to take a break from work while still being on full pay, Yeo Wenxian, Head of DBS and POSB Branch Banking, told HRM Asia. “With branch staff being customer-facing, we are particularly mindful to protect our more vulnerable staff, that is, those 60 years and above, who are pregnant, or who have medical conditions. Those keen to further their learning during this time are encouraged to tap on the bank’s suite of e-learning options from the safety of their homes.”
The remaining staff affected by the temporary closures will continue to work at the DBS/POSB branches that will stay open. To safeguard their health and well-being, they will be rostered to work shorter working hours and fewer days per week. To minimise contact risk, they will also be able to take taxis and/or ride-hailing cars to and from work, as well as order food delivery for their meals, all of which will be paid for by DBS.
“These are in addition to existing preventive measures such as ensuring ready supplies of personal protective equipment for all branch staff, and enforcing safe distancing measures at all branches,” Yeo added.
DBS is not alone in introducing temporary closures. OCBC will close 22 of its Singapore branches from April 9 to May 4, leaving 24 branches in operation. Standard Chartered will close half of its 16 branches in Singapore, Maybank half of its 18 branches, and HSBC seven of its 13 branches islandwide. Citibank meanwhile, will close four more branches, in addition to the four Instant Banking Centres that have been temporarily closed since March 27.