Long weekend for bankers, insurers

Chennai: Bankers and insurers in Tamil Nadu and in other parts of the nation are gearing up for a long weekend, beginning December 24.

Between December 24 and 27, branches of government-owned banks and insurance companies would remain shut due to festivals and weekly closures.

Owing to Milad-un-Nabi and Christmas, Thursday and Friday will be holidays.

Second and fourth Saturdays of a month are holidays for government-owned banks while it is a five-day week for government-owned insurance companies.

Agreeing that the weekend would be long, bankers and insurers told IANS that it is nothing new.

“Why should people grudge our holidays? We worked on a Sunday to help the flood-affected people in Tamil Nadu. Holidays are there for all and not only for bankers. Further there are alternate channels for people to take cash,” a banker told IANS.

On December 6, a Sunday, government-owned banks functioned in the flood-hit districts in Tamil Nadu.

“Banking is only a public utility and not an essential service in India. Today there are alternate delivery channels for availing banking service. Private sector corporates would also have holidays enabling their employees to celebrate the festivals,” C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of the All India Bank Employees’Association (AIBEA), had told IANS earlier.