Thursday June 13, 2024

SBP announces bank holiday on January 1

Banks to remain closed on the first day of upcoming year for closing of financial year ending December 31

By Business Desk
December 29, 2023
An undated picture of the State Bank of Pakistans building. — AFP/File
An undated picture of the State Bank of Pakistan's building. — AFP/File

The banks will remain closed countrywide on account of "bank holiday" on January 1 (Monday), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) notified on Friday, as all the banks will be having the closing of financial year that ends on December 31.

According to an official statement, there will be no public dealing at the central bank and all other banks across the country on January 1, which will be observed "Bank Holiday".

"All banks microfinance banks (MFBs), and development financial institutions (DFIs) shall, therefore, remain closed for public dealing on the aforementioned date. However, all employees of the banks/DFIs/ MFBs will attend the office as usual," the statement read.

The practice of observing a bank holiday by the commercial banks is meant for a smooth transition into the new financial year. 

In a separate statement, the SBP directed all the banks to remain open on the weekend for the collection of "taxes through alternate delivery channels and over-the-counter facilities", in a move to facilitate the masses.

"It has been decided that branches of all banks that are open on Saturday shall observe extended working hours on Saturday and Sunday," the SBP said in its official statement.

The banks will remain open till 5pm on December 30 (Saturday), whereas on December 31 (Sunday) the operational hours will be till 8pm.

Also, the National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) — to ensure same-day clearing/ settlement of payment instruments — has been "advised" by the SBP to arrange special clearings at 3pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Furthermore, the banks — in a move aimed at eliminating the issue of spillover of tax receipts — have been directed to ensure that no instrument concerning government receipts, lodged during the aforementioned office hours, remain unattended at branch counters and must be lodged in the aforesaid special clearing in the value date of December 31, 2023.

Meanwhile, banks are also advised to keep their relevant branches open on the weekend "till such time that is necessary to facilitate the special clearings for Government transactions by the NIFT".