Banks repeat public service rules in new general confinement

Despite the general duty of home collection, customers who need to go in person to a bank branch can do so. But banks have again introduced public service rules to mitigate the risk of contagion from Covid-19.

Cristina Bernardo

The new measures imposed by the Government under the new state of emergency that came into effect at 00:00 on this Friday should apply in the “one month horizon“, As the prime minister said this Tuesday.

Despite the general duty of home collection, the decree that regulates the state of emergency provides for certain exceptions to this general duty, which can see here e here, which includes trips to bank branches.

This means that, despite the general duty of home collection, customers who need to go in person to a bank branch can do so, since the Executive decree expressly provides that access “to bank branches” is considered “ authorized trips ”.

However, there are rules that banks have defined in order to mitigate the risk of contagion from Covid-19 when it comes to face-to-face service.

To the Jornal Económico, official source of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, he underlines that the branches are working “behind closed doors”, in order to avoid “concentration of customers and employees” in the public service facilities. For this reason, CGD advances, "the calls will be made on a first-come, first-served basis."

Santander maintained the "same" operating rules that "were already being implemented" since march, says official source of the bank led by Pedro Castro e Almeida.

In this way, simultaneous access will be given to a number of customers that is equivalent to the number of employees existing inside the Santander branch, with customers waiting for their turn in line outside, keeping the social distance between them advised by health authorities in the Customer Service.

Novo Banco announced this Friday that from next Monday, the branches will be closed at lunchtime, between 12:00 and 13:XNUMX, a measure that had already been applied in March, for three months.

The bank led by António Ramalho will also maintain “conditional access to five people (per 100 m2) simultaneously”, within each branch.

BPI was another bank that went to the market to announce the service rules at branches. In a statement, the credit institution led by João Pedro Oliveira e Costa points out that the commercial units - branches, 'premier' centers, corporate centers and mobile counters - will remain open during the new period of confinement, under the same conditions in that were already functioning, that is, with conditioned access and individualized service.

The bank asks customers to favor digital or telephone means to conduct banking transactions.

BCP maintains the operating rules that were already in force and that were adopted during the first general confinement of March 2020. To this end, “the adjustment of the entry of customers in the branches was made according to the number of employees available to provide attendance".

The regulator also informed the market this Friday, announcing that service to the public will be subject to prior appointment as of Monday. The measure will be in effect until at least January 29, explains Banco de Portugal.

Pre-booking must be made through the Banco de Portugal Telephone Service Center (+351 213 130 000) and, for calls in Lisbon and Porto, it can be done online for cases, consultations about credit responsibilities, bank accounts or restrictions on the use of checks, or even to report the loss of identification documents.

In these cases of pre-booking online, interested parties must complete a form, which is here.

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