Manama, Bahrain: In an effort to exercise caution and safeguard the well-being of its staff members during these times of uncertainty, the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) is implementing a series of internal measures to ensure the health and safety of its employees across its operations, and further support them beyond the workplace.
In line with the Government’s directives urging all residents, citizens and businesses to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, NBB is increasingly shifting towards a ‘work from home’ environment, with priority being given to pregnant women and mothers with children below the age of 18, as well as to employees with compromised immunity due to chronic health conditions, and those residing with family members who fall under the previously mentioned categories.
NBB has also enabled remote access to operational personnel currently working from home. Training courses and business meetings have continued with the increased adoption of digital communication methods. A rigorous sanitization regime is also being implemented across NBB’s entire network, in addition to providing all customer-facing employees with the necessary personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and sanitizers, as an added safety measure.
Additional pre-emptive measures have been adopted to reduce both staff and customer exposure to any potential health risk, including reduced working hours and staff rotations, and the temporary closure of high density branches. Staff who were operating in the closed branches are now supporting the remaining network. NBB is taking a step further to stay closer to the needs of its employees by extending the previously mandated 14-day leave of absence to those affected by COVID-19, to 21 days.
NBB has also spearheaded a number of initiatives for its Retail Banking products and services in support of its individual customers, including the Bank deferring all monthly loans for Bahraini citizens for up to 6 months with no additional charges on interest, and no interest on interest, which is also applicable to Mazaya loans. Additionally, deferment on all monthly due payments for all credit cardholders for a period of 6 months without additional charges, and no interest on interest. To further enhance the safety measures that have been put in place, NBB has advised customers to utilise contactless payments and remote transactions from home through its 24/7 available mobile banking features. Other initiatives include the increase of limit on ‘Tap&Go’ without a PIN from BHD 20 to BHD 50, and the temporary increase of the debit card daily withdrawal limit at NBB ATMs from BHD 1000 to BHD 2000 until further notice.
The mobile banking features and registration process have also been explained through demonstrative videos and tutorials post on the Bank’s social media channels, to support and educate customers who are experiencing the journey for the first time.
Additional precautionary measures are being considered internally and will be deployed as and when the need arises. NBB is committed to assisting all national efforts to combat the situation and prioritises the health and safety of its employees, customers and the wider community.
© Press Release 2020