Banks to be open for only 5 days a week? Finance ministry receives IBA proposal

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Banks to be open for only 5 days a week? Finance ministry receives IBA proposal
  • By Kanak
  • 23rd January, 2024
  • Banking

Exploring the Prospect of a 5-Day Banking Week

In the realm of banking, a notable proposal has surfaced, suggesting a potential shift to a condensed five-day workweek. This proposal, put forth by the Indian Banks Association (IBA), is currently under consideration by the Finance Ministry, as reported by the Times of India (ToI). Let’s delve into the intricacies of this proposition and its potential implications.

Minister’s Acknowledgment

During a recent parliamentary session, Bhagwat Karad, the Minister of State for Finance, acknowledged the reception of the IBA proposal. However, details about the current status of the proposal and whether the Finance Ministry is actively contemplating its acceptance remain undisclosed.

Current Banking Schedule

Currently, banks adhere to a schedule that involves closures on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. If the proposal for a five-day workweek gains approval, significant changes may be on the horizon. Bank personnel’s working hours could see an extension, along with an increase in the operational hours of banks for customers, as outlined in the ToI report.

Insights from the Rajya Sabha

Addressing concerns and queries, Rajya Sabha UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 211, answered on December 5, sought information about the bank union and IBA proposals on implementation. The specific inquiry was whether there had been any requests from the Bank Union or IBA regarding the implementation of the proposed five-day work plan in nationalized banks and if there were plans for its implementation. The response from DR. BHAGWAT KARAD, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, shed light on the matter.

IBA’s Proposal for Banking Holidays

Confirming the IBA’s proposal, Minister Karad stated that the proposition involves declaring all Saturdays as banking holidays. The historical context reveals that following the 10th Bipartite settlement/7th Joint note signed between IBA and Workmen Unions/Officer Associations, the Government, through a notification dated 20.8.2015, declared the second and fourth Saturdays of every month as public holidays for banks in India.

Analyzing the Proposal

Now, let’s take a closer look at the potential ramifications of adopting a five-day banking week.

Extended Working Hours

Should the proposal find favor, it implies that bank personnel may experience an adjustment in their working hours. The extension of operational hours during the remaining five days could be a consequential change to accommodate customer needs.

Customer Convenience

While extended working hours may initially seem burdensome, the flip side of the coin is enhanced accessibility for customers. With a longer operational window, individuals may find it more convenient to conduct their banking affairs without being constrained by time.

Impact on Work-Life Balance

On the flip side, the potential extension of working hours for bank employees raises questions about its impact on work-life balance. Striking a balance between meeting operational demands and ensuring the well-being of employees is a critical consideration.

Public Reaction and Industry Response

Predictably, such proposals stir reactions from the public and the banking industry itself. Understanding the sentiments and concerns of stakeholders is crucial in evaluating the viability and acceptance of these potential changes.

Public Perception

The public’s perspective on this proposal is diverse. While some may appreciate the extended accessibility, others may voice concerns about the potential strain on employees. Public feedback and sentiment play a significant role in gauging the acceptability of such industry-wide shifts.

Industry Adaptability

From an industry standpoint, the adaptability of banks to these proposed changes is a key consideration. Implementing a five-day workweek involves logistical adjustments, ranging from employee scheduling to ensuring seamless customer service. Evaluating the industry’s readiness and capacity for such changes is imperative.


In conclusion, the proposal for a condensed five-day banking week introduces a complex set of considerations. From potential adjustments in working hours to the impact on customer convenience and the broader industry response, the ramifications are multifaceted. As the Finance Ministry deliberates on the IBA’s proposal, the future landscape of banking schedules in India hangs in the balance. The evolving dynamics of the banking sector, influenced by technological advancements and societal expectations, further add layers of complexity to this discourse.

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