Srinagar, Mar 27 (GNS): J&K Bank Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rajesh Kumar Chhibber today made a fervent appeal to the customers of the bank to strictly follow the government directives regarding containment of the rising Covid-19 infections and maintain social distancing as mandated by the WHO by avoiding unnecessary rush at the bank’s branches and ATMs to help prevent the infection from spreading. The appeal comes in the wake of Kashmir reporting its first death caused by the highly contagious novel Coronavirus or Covid-19.
In view of the growing pandemic the bank, he said, has also waived charges on digital transactions and non-maintenance of minimum balance on all accounts till June 30, 2020. The move is goodwill gesture to the bank’s stakeholders especially its valued customers, he said.
“There will be no charges on debit card transactions on domestic ATMs, NEFT/RTGS transactions initiated on mPay or ebank and on UPI transactions. Besides, no charges will be levied on account of non-maintenance of minimum balance”, the CMD informed. “The move will help provide a richer banking experience to our valued customersand encourage them to use our best-in-class digital channels from the convenience and safety of their homes”, he added.
The move comes right on the heels of the RBI’s decision to allow 3-month moratorium on the payment of installments of term loans and deferment of interest on working capital facilities outstanding as on March 1, 2020 besides slashing the key lending rate by 75 basis points (0.75 percentage point) and other measures in an emergency move to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus-induced 21-day lockdown. J&K Bank has also reduced its external benchmark/ repo linked lined rate by 75 basis points.
“We welcome RBIs slew of measures aimed at infusing liquidity, reducing cost of credit and ensuring stability in the system. These are abnormal times and RBI as a responsible and responsive institution has ensured that the delicate balance of the financial system in the country remains intact. The priority right now is survival and stability.
Besides giving a breather to consumers and businesses by announcing 3 months EMI and interest moratorium, the decision will also reduce a huge amount of stress on banks’ balance sheets”, the CMD said.
“I would like to reiterate to my customers that J&K Bank as a responsible social & commercial corporate entity shall pass on these relaxations interest rate reduction and moratorium without any loss of time. Our senior management team is working to ensure that the directions are implemented with effect from tomorrow itself”, he added.
As part of its strategy to ensure business continuity and uninterrupted services to its customers, the bank has constituted a Quick Response Team comprising of the bank’s senior officials to address all the issues that might arise out of the Covid-19 pandemic and affect the bank’s stakeholders.
“We have formulated a strategy to effectively deal with the emerging situation and have directed the Business Unit Heads to not allow any unnecessary rush in the Business Units for their as well as customers’ safety. However, the bank will continue to ensure that its customers have access to funds either directly or electronically. In view of the current scenario, with Covid-19 cases rising, I urge people to avoid unnecessary rush and come to Business Units only when absolutely necessary while maintaining social distancing”, the CMD said.
To ensure the safety of customers, the bank has taken proactive steps to mitigate the risks of getting or spreading the contagion. In addition, the bank has rolled out several other measures to respond to the financial exigencies of stakeholder including revised working hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“All ATMs and Business Units are regularly sanitized across the country especially in the J&K and Ladakh UTs. At the same time, I urge people to take full advantage of our digital channels which includeseamless net banking, hassle-free mobile banking, and debit and credit cards. Besides, we have provided sanitizers to all the ATM guards across J&K to keep the ATMs clean. People should not panic at all, instead they should enjoy banking with us from the convenience of their homes”, the CMD said.
Earlier also, in a message to the bank’s customers, the CMD had informed that the bank remained committed to safeguard the physical and financial assets as well as the interests of all stakeholders including the valuable customers of the bank. (GNS)