Are banks going to remain closed for six days? Will the ATMs run dry next week? The latest fake message to do rounds on WhatsApp is about the banking sector. The message shared widely on the mobile texting app says that the banks across India will remain closed on September 2, 3, 4,5 and 8,9.
But what is the truth?
The consumer banks in India will NOT remain closed for six days or even five days at a stretch next week. The banks will be closed on Sunday (September 2). The banks will remain open for rest of the week, that is, September 3, 4,5,6,7,8 and will close for weekend on Sunday again on September 9 as usual.
Why the rumour?
The long bank holiday rumour seems to have originated from the confusion about proposed mass leave by staff of the Reserve Bank of India on September 4 and 5. The strike or protest, called by United Front of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees against the Centre's refusal to accede to its long-pending demand for pension updation, does not include the staff of consumer banks, both national and private. Furthermore, the message claims that banks will remain closed on September 3 or Monday on account of Janamashtmi, which is also invalid as the festival is being celebrated on Sunday and is anyway not an official bank holiday.
Will protest by RBI staff leave hamper banking?
RBI staff is not involved with the day-to-day banking operations in your local branches. However, the RBI staff strike can have some indirect effect on your daily banking needs.
Cheque clearances, payments and settlements and forex transactions, real time gross settlement (RTGS) and national electronic funds transfer (NEFT) systems may get hit as these operations require real time communication channel between RBI system and banks. Additionally, the overnight call money market (market where banks borrow from each other to meet liquidity mismatches) may get affected for two days.
Should you worry?
The RBI staff protest shall only impact, if at all, certain online transactions and possibly large sum transactions at branches. Smaller day-to-day transactions are likely to go on as usual and you can always use IMPS transaction method for mobile banking for the time.
Banks are not going on long holiday and will remain open throughout next week. There is no need to worry or panic about cash running dry in ATMs. Be aware though that you may not be able to carry out large transactions online on September 4 and 5 due to proposed RBI staff strike.