Central Bank of Syria extends banks working hours

Crowds of citizens at the Real Estate Bank in Aleppo - May 9, 2022 (Tishreen newspaper)

Crowds of citizens at the Real Estate Bank in Aleppo - May 9, 2022 (Tishreen newspaper)

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The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) has requested private banks to extend working hours and operate on Saturdays, restricting operations during additional hours solely for opening bank accounts. This follows the regime government’s request for smart card holders to open bank accounts.

The circular issued by the bank today, Thursday, June 27, addressed to all private financial banking institutions operating in Syria, includes extending daily working hours until 6:00 PM, in addition to working on Saturdays.

The circular emphasized that banking operations allowed during the specified additional hours are limited to opening bank accounts and the necessary procedures to activate the newly opened accounts, as well as the requirements to reactivate dormant accounts if they exist, without conducting any other operations under penalty of accountability.

Two days ago, the regime’s government requested all citizens holding the smart card to open bank accounts within three months. This is in preparation for transferring cash support amounts to these accounts later, upon completion and readiness of the cash support system, without specifying the timeframe for the start of cash support distribution.

The government’s statement at the time indicated that opening a bank account is a very simple and facilitated procedure that only requires the beneficiary to attend the bank with their personal identification card to open the account, in exchange for very minimal financial burdens.

It considered that the requirement to open bank accounts is aimed at enabling citizens to receive their full support entitlements, preventing any infringement on these entitlements by any existing or potential intermediary entities, without specifying them.

Since the beginning of February 2022, the regime’s government has begun implementing the removal of government support from a group of smart card holders according to certain categories and specifications, including having a commercial register in the family, owning a car with specific features, among other criteria.

The regime’s government believes that restructuring the support aims to direct it to those who deserve it to achieve justice and support the most needy segments, and to bridge the deficit in the state budget, according to what the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Samer al-Khalil, said at the beginning of the project launch.

 

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