Tuesday, August 20, 2019

No banking for 25m Dutch-Bangla customers for four days as it upgrades systems

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi and Farhan Fardous, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-03-13 23:15:26 BdST


Dutch-Bangla Bank is pausing its operations for four days as it is upgrading systems.

About 25 million customers of the private bank will not be able to make any transaction through its branches or ATM booths from 12:01am Friday to 6am next Tuesday.

The use of Dutch-Bangla credit and debit cards, agent banking and mobile financial service Rocket will also remain suspended.

The bank in a statement on Wednesday and SMS sent to its customers apologised for the inconvenience, but many of them have expressed ire as the bank has not kept any alternative.

“I barely make cash transactions as I always use Rocket and Dutch-Bangla debit card. A four-day suspension spells a big trouble for me,” one of them, Mir Rayhan Siddique, told bdnews24.com.

“From where will those people who have account with only this bank withdraw money to pay medical, hospital bills if someone gets sick?” an agitated customer asked.

“How will a customer abroad make transactions in these four days? Customers are notified four to five months before such incidents in any country in the world, but they (Dutch-Bangla) sent notice only two to three days ago,” another customer said.

Dutch-Bangla has not said anything about compensating the customers.

But its officials said they think the time for the suspension has been wisely chosen as it covers two weekly holidays and a general holiday.       

Friday and Saturday are weekly holidays and Mar 17, Sunday, will be a holiday for Bangabandhu Sheikh Muhibur Rahman’s birthday and National Children’s Day. Everything will run as usual in Bangladesh on the next day, Monday.    

Terming it a “temporary issue for better service in future”, Dutch-Bangla Managing Director Abul Kashem Md Shirin regretted any trouble the suspension of operation is going to create.

The bank is going to add a new Tk 2 billion data centre with improved technology to its system in this period of suspension to ensure fail-safe services, according to Kashem.

It took permission from the Bangladesh Bank before announcing the suspension decision, he added.

The private bank told the central bank that it had notified its customers about the suspension a few days ago, according to Bangladesh Bank spokesman Serajul Islam.

“The customers must have been prepared for this. But it’ll be a big problem for them that they will not be able to withdraw money from the ATM booths,” he added.

Having started operations in Bangladesh in 1995, Dutch-Bangla serves about 25 million customers now through its 184 branches, around 5,000 ATM booths and 800 fast-track service centres, according to its officials.