After the Central Bank allowed banks to assist them due to COVID-19 staff shortages, cheques might be taking up to six days to clear and cash deposits up to three days as of Saturday.
The relaxed clearing rules are part of a directive by the Central Bank which aims at ‘outlining banks’ contingency arrangements.’
The so-called Directive 17 has set the maximum outages allowed to banks as part of their contingency arrangements when providing essential services to their clients. These services include, among others, depositing and withdrawing cash, depositing, cashing and clearing cheques and bank drafts.
The directive also gives banks more time to provide these services to clients whilst under contingency situations. This measure will come into effect as of Saturday 1st January 2022.
The Central Bank revealed in a statement that the changes were being intended to help banks weather the current wave of COVID disruptions such as staff shortages and infection.
The measures are:
1 – The amount time taken to clear cheques and drafts have been extended temporarily from three days to a maximum of six days.
2 – Cash deposits may also take up to three days to clear.
3 – banks must still provide over the counter cash deposit services for all those customs who do not have access to alternatives such as ATMs.