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FSC issues instructions for banks'' response to a lowered COVID-19 alert level

To coordinate with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s decision to lower the COVID-19 alert level from level 3 to level 2 on 27 July 2021, the FSC issued instructions regarding how banks may conduct their operations at the lower alert level. The key points of the instructions are as follows:
1.    During the level 3 alert period, which started on 20 May 2021, interbank account transfer service charges were completely waived for transfers made via internet bank (including mobile banking) services, and interbank account transfer service charges for transfers made by physical ATM were reduced. For a seven-day buffer period beginning from the date on which the level 2 alert level was put in place, these waived or reduced service charges remained in effect, but ordinary service charges were resumed from 00:00 am on 3 August 2021.
2.    As for the business hours of banks' branch units and the types of business activities they are allowed to conduct, in light of the fact that some branch units still need to adjust their business hours and types of business in order to respond to the pandemic, decisions on these matters are now being made on a case-by-case basis in response applications filed by banks.
3.    Banks were allowed during the level 3 alert period to use flexible methods to provide financial products and services, and this approach will remain in effect whenever a COVID-19 alert level of 2 or higher is in effect in any single county or municipality. A bank may use alternative methods to provide financial products and services so long as those methods are in line with the bank's internal control principles and have been authorized internally. Any adjustment to the aforementioned alternative methods will not be mentioned in financial examination findings.
4.    Banks must continue to carry out disease control measures for the benefit of employees (e.g. regular sterilization of business premises, provision of plentiful supplies of personal protective equipment), and they must conduct outreach campaigns to urge the public to make use of online and mobile banking services, ATM machines, and electronic payment methods in order to reduce the risks associated with direct contact among individuals.
In order to pay balanced attention to employee safety as well as to meet the needs of customers, all measures taken in response the lowering of the COVID-19 alert level will be reviewed from time to time and are subject to adjustment as the need arises. With regard to measures taken to fight the pandemic, the FSC will consider the possibility of making them regular features of the banking system, provided that risks can be properly controlled, so as to provide convenience while also maintaining security.
Visitor: 67   Update: 2021-10-14