BANKS are continuing to offer their services during the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has seen the closure of restaurants, pubs, gyms and non-essential stores.
As banks are considered to provide an essential service, they’re allowed to stay open despite.
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But many banks have reduced opening hours and are encouraging people to get in touch online or over the phone instead.
Some branches may have also temporarily closed.
Here’s what you need to know.
Are banks open today?
Yes, many banks are continuing to offer services in branches across the country.
But they are asking customers to avoid coming to a branch for non-essential services that can wait.
But with a high volume of calls, they are also asking customers to only call their support services with urgent queries or to use online facilities instead.
Call wait times are much longer than usual for the majority of banks.
What time will banks open?
However, some branches have changed their regular opening hours or have temporarily closed.
You can find the latest information using Barclays’ branch finder tool.
The bank says if it has to temporarily close a branch, it will send a text message to anyone who uses it regularly.
Barclays has also warned that because it has fewer members of staff than usual answering the phones, people will have to wait longer to speak to someone.
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It also has fewer people manning the online “chat” function.
The bank urges people to check the information on its website first and to only call if you have “an immediate financial problem that can’t wait”.
Barclays is offering emergency interest-free overdrafts to customers struggling with finances during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank
Hundreds of Lloyds Banking Group’s 1,600 branches are temporarily closed.
Lloyds will also not be operating any of its mobile branch services.
Branches that are open have restricted opening hours from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, with no weekend openings.
The banks are only providing essential services in branch, all other activity and interviews will cease.
The banking group stresses you should only visit if you are not showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
All three banks say telephone services are busier than usual and to only call if it is urgent.
You should use online banking services where possible.
All three banks are offering emergency interest-free overdrafts to customers struggling to keep on top of their finances
HSBC is advising customers to use mobile and online banking.
Most branches are still open, but on reduced hours because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The new opening hours are 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, and all branches are closed at the weekend until further notice.
Services in branches are also currently limited.
HSBC says it can still help with cash deposits and withdrawals, international payments, changes of address and certain other services.
However, the bank won’t be able to offer new products in branch or set up appointments for now.
HSBC says it is keeping its branch finder as up to date as possible, so it’s best to check there before heading in.
Call centre hours have also changed.
All lines are now open from 8am to 8pm, except for lost and stolen cards, where lines are open 24/7.
HSBC says it is receiving far more calls than usual, so wait times are longer.
It is urging customers to only call us if it’s urgent, so it can help those most in need.
The bank has also allocated £5billion to help businesses in need of support as well as offering the option of a temporary increase in credit card and overdraft limits.
It is also now offering payment holidays on mortgages, unsecured lending, and credit cards for those financially impacted by the outbreak.
More information on what is available can be found on the HSBC website.
Metro Bank is open but it has tweaked its opening hours to 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, with branches closed over the weekend.
Previously, branches were open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturdays, and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.
All the branches that are staying open, as well as the opening hours can be found on Metro Bank’s website.
It also advises customers to stay updated with its service status page.
Be aware that the opening times on its branch finder tool are not up to date.
Metro Bank has temporarily changed its contact centre opening hours to Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and from Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6.30pm.
Nationwide says the majority of its 650 branches remain open, but opening hours have been cut to 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday.
All branches are now closed in the evenings and weekends.
Branches had previously opened from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.
Nationwide will also no longer open its doors an hour early at 8am for elderly and vulnerable customers.
You can check the status of your local Nationwide branch using its branch finder tool.
Call centre hours have also temporarily changed.
The times you can call depend on which product or service you need as well as what aspect of your finances you want to discuss.
The full list of times are all detailed on the Nationwide website.
Nationwide is offering a range of measures to help customers. These include:
- Three-month payment holidays on mortgages, personal loans or credit cards
- Increased credit card or overdraft limits
- Penalty-free early access to savings in fixed term bond accounts
NatWest and RBS are urging customers to bank online with branches only open for customers who need to carry out critical transactions or need emergency support.
According to the website, most of its branches are open from 10am-1pm.
At RBS, only two customers are allowed in branches at a time.
The banks are also offering customers an expansion of their credit limit and a loan payment deferral, as well as payment breaks for up to three months on mortgages.
They’re also letting customers access savings early with no penalties.
Santander is asking customers to get in touch through its online chat function or social media in the first instance as its phone lines have been inundated with callers.
It says most branches will remain open, although some have temporarily closed due to staff sickness.
All 50 university branches have also been closed.
Most branches will operate reduced opening hours from 10am to 2pm from Monday to Friday and will be closed on weekends.
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This is subject to change so check online first before making any journeys.
You can find out the status of your local branch on Santander’s website.
Santander is asking customers to only visit an open branch if absolutely necessary and if you’re unable to resolve an urgent issue online.
It is also struggling with a high volume of calls so it is asking non-vulnerable customers to only ring in emergencies such as suspected fraud or a lost or stolen card.
Those who urgently need help can call the helpline on 0800 01 56 38.
The bank is offering payment holidays, increased credit limits and penalty-free access to savings to help customers.
TSB has temporarily closed some of its 500 UK branches, while a number of others have seen their opening hours reduced.
Monday to Friday (or whichever weekday a branch is usually open), branches will now open from 10am to 4pm, but they’ll be closed from 12.30pm to 1.30pm for cleaning.
It is only providing essential services in branch.
Check with your nearest bank first, as the hours are subject to change.
None of TSB’s branches will now be open on Saturdays or Sundays.
Visit its website for the full details and to use its branch finder tool.
It says its call lines are overwhelmed and is asking customers to only call if it is urgent and the problem cannot be resolved using online services.
It has a range of help available for customers who are struggling – you can find out more here.
How to avoid coronavirus fraud
Banks are reminding customers to watch out for a variety of coronavirus fraud schemes that have spread on the internet.
These schemes include a fake “map” which claims to show the spread of coronavirus but then allows hackers to hijack your gadgets.
If downloaded, it allows cyber crooks to look at your location and photos and possibly spy on you through your camera.
Several fake “diagnosis” scams and hoaxes are doing the rounds online and WhatsApp has been targeted too with text hoaxes spreading like wildfire.
Instagram has already banned rogue coronavirus filters that claim to “diagnose” your condition.
And any tools that promise to test you for coronavirus online should not be trusted.