Don't be confused, banks will remain open on Thursday. A large number of people mistook Thursday as the Shab-e-Barat holiday and rushed to banks on Wednesday to complete their transactions for the week.
Actually, this year, the holiday on the occasion of the Shab-e-Barat falls on Friday.
Shah Alam, a customer at Dutch-Bangla Bank's Karwan Bazar branch, said his office had disbursed his salary to his account and he went to the branch to withdraw the money as he thought banks would be closed for the next three days.
He thought the banks would be closed on Thursday for Shab-e-Barat.
"Most of our branches saw massive crowds on Wednesday which had not been seen in previous working days," Rahel Ahmed, managing director of Prime Bank, told The Business Standard.
He added, "People might have spent all the money they withdrew 10 days ago in meeting their needs. So they needed to withdraw more money."
"Moreover, salary withdrawal has added to the rush," said Rahel Ahmed, also general secretary of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh.
Md Abdul Halim Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank, said they experienced additional pressure from customers yesterday.
They needed law enforcement to maintain social distancing – a measure to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading – at their Sylhet and Khulna branches due to the crowds.
ATM booths experienced a similar rush. There were long queues in front of the booths in different city areas, including: Motijheel, Baridhara, Karwan Bazar, Kamalapur, and Mirpur.
"We are drawing extra money in case we need it during the holidays," said Shahana Parveen while queuing up at an ATM booth in Kalshi, Mirpur.
To stem the coronavirus pandemic, the government has declared general holidays, shutting all businesses except for some emergency services – including banks – till April 14.
From March 29, banks went on limited-scale operations for every work day.
Anisur Rahman, head of Pubali Bank's principal branch at Motijheel, said, "A large number of customers withdrew money on Tuesday. Most of them collected between Tk10,000 and Tk20,000."
"Most people are taking money because residential areas are being shut down, one after another, and they fear they might not be able to go to the banks," said Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, managing director of Exim Bank.
"So, the customers are trying to collect money as much as they can," he added.
The central bank, in a circular on Tuesday, said banks will provide services on a limited scale till April 13, allowing people to withdraw money to meet their daily expenses and traders to make deposits.
During this period, banks will remain open, for cash transactions only, from 10:00am to 1:00pm. However, banks dealing with foreign exchange will be operated from 10:00am to 2:00pm.