Quarantine Cash: State Bank advises to ‘disinfect’ currency notes received from clinics and hospitals

ATMs shall be re-filled with fresh banknotes or with the ATM-fit re-issuable notes taken from SBP Banking Services Corporation.

To control the spread of COVID-19 through currency notes, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has advised banks to quarantine the cash received from clinics and hospitals. SBP has asked banks to ensure issuance of ‘fit for use’ cash to the general public.

According to a circular issued by the organization, there are numerous banking instruments that serve as a medium of exchange which can contribute to the spread of the virus. Considering that, the SBP directed that some measures must be taken by the banking industry to ensure safe and secure banking practices.

For this purpose, SBP has directed banks that the environment of every branch should be of a ‘socially responsible’ banking service. Specifically, the staff engaged in processing coins, banknotes, and other instruments. These people must be provided with protective gear and provisions like gloves, disinfectants or hand sanitizers and masks.

The banks must maintain accounts of hospitals and clinics. Cash collected from such clients must first be disinfected, sealed and secured separately and quarantined until further order.

The amount of quarantined cash would be reported by the banks on a combined basis electronically to the SBP. In return, the SBP would give credit to the banks on the same day. The quarantined cash will be kept by them until further orders.

The amount of credit received must be reconcilable and verifiable by entries in accounts of hospitals and clinics.

The SBP said that the cash collected from other sources must also be handled with care and be disinfected as well. It should also be authenticated, sorted and packed as under the Currency Management Strategy (CMS).

From 6th April 2020 till further orders, fresh cash or the re-issuable cash that has been quarantined for 14 days or more shall be used.

The SBP BSC offices have adequate stock of such cash so the banks can take some from them before 6th April 2020 if needed. They can also use the fresh banknotes that have already been issued to them under the Eid quota.

The banks may hand in their surplus re-issuable balances to the nearest SBP Banking Services Corporation field office/National Bank of Pakistan Chest provided that it is packed as per SBP instructions.

ATMs shall be re-filled with fresh banknotes or with the ATM-fit re-issuable notes taken from SBP Banking Services Corporation.

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