Bank branches in Kigali to halt operations in response to coronavirus outbreak

By IGIHE
On 26 March 2020 at 03:36

On Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, Rwanda Bankers’ Association (RBA) advised all banks in Rwanda to close some of their branches especially those located in Kigali in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In an announcement published via Twitter, RBA explained that the decision was taken to support the government of Rwanda measures to restrict movement in the country as a preventive solution against COVID-19.

Equity Bank has been the first to close less busier branches.

Hannington Namara, Equity Bank Rwanda Managing Director said that the Bank will close doors for 3 among 8 branches it has in Kigali. Branches with less customers will be halt operations until further notice.

"We will start by temporarily closing Gisozi-Gakinjiro branch since it has relatively less customers. Giporoso and Equity headquarters in town will also be closed while Remera-Gisimenti and Nyarugenge branches will keep operating."

Namara encouraged Equity Bank Rwanda customers to use digital channels in all possible transactions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

In an announcement which was signed by Robin Bairstow, RBA Chairman states that " RBA has advised the banks to temporarily close some of its branches in the country but more specifically the ones located in Kigali in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. RBA continues to monitor closely the situation and will inform its members, staff, customers and stakeholders on COVID-19 updates."

RBA stated that banks will inform their customers on further steps through usual communication channels.

After the announcement was published, many people were confused as to which banks would halt operations but Banks administration have cleared the misunderstanding.

The government of Rwanda has taken many preventive measures since patient zero was identified including closing all public and private schools as well as higher education institutions and prohibiting public gatherings.

The ministry of health advises Rwandans to keep observing preventive measures to counter further spread of the virus and to call the toll-free number 114 to report any symptoms.

Banks services are currently operational with a focus on subscribing more customers to online banking services.

Hannington Namara, Equity Bank Rwanda Managing Director said that the Bank will close doors for 3 among 8 branches it has in Kigali.

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