CBK Assures Smooth and Safe Banking Operations
The Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, announced that banks were instructed to ensure uninterrupted access to financial services to serve customers and the national economy in light of precautionary efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, and to maintain financial stability in the country.
Dr. Al-Hashel stated that CBK, throughout the official holiday declared by the Cabinet of Ministers, shall continue carrying out its functions relating to key operations, security measures, and payment, settlement and electronic clearing systems. Additionally, Al-Hashel stated that CBK is dedicated to ensuring continuous financial services to the general public including 24/7 cash replenishment and the opening of communication channels with banks to support them in providing their services without disruption.
The Governor confirmed that used banknotes are being isolated and stored for four weeks to ensure their safety prior to market recirculation. In addition, CBK is disinfecting vaults, banknote counters/sorting machines to protect both the general public and staff.
On the other hand, the Governor held a meeting on Thursday, 12 March 2020, with the CEOs of Kuwaiti banks to address the current situation during the holiday. The Governor directed banks to provide the following:
- Uninterrupted access to financial services to the public in a secure, efficient and quick manner including cash withdrawals and deposits.
- Continuous maintenance of ATMs with adequate cash replenishment to accommodate the public’s needs.
- Continuous processing of cheques and local and international transfers.
- Providing online banking and point-of-sale services.
- Increasing contactless Tap payment limits from KD 10 to KD 25 and adjusting the payment systems to process them as soon as possible.
- Ceasing charges and commissions on POS, ATM and online banking transactions for three months.
- Supporting customers adversely affected by the current situation.
- Delaying collection of due payments on affected customers for three months without any penalty.
- Offering uninterrupted banking services for the commercial companies importing goods and commodities necessary for food security and public needs.
- Call centers at banks to continue serving clients and responding to all calls/inquiries.
- Paying compensation in appreciation of the banks’ employees for their work during the holiday.
Finally, the Governor thanked the Kuwaiti banks for their cooperation and active contribution in addressing the current situation. He assured that the top management of both the Central Bank of Kuwait and the banking sector will ensure that the banking services to the general public continue to be provided. He accentuated the CBK is closely following up the current situations and shall spare no effort to take the necessary actions that ensure the financial and monetary stability in the country.