By Sara Aggour
Branches of Egyptian banks will keep their doors open to the public during the upcoming 30 June demonstrations, despite concerns over potential violence that may occur as opposition plans to take to the streets against President Mohamed Morsi.
Zeinab Hisham , the treasury manager at the National Bank of Egypt, confirmed that the bank will be open on Sunday and operations will be carried out normally. “We have no intention to close the bank on Sunday. It will be a normal working day for us,” she said.
Looters during the 18-day mass protests in 2011 reportedly broke into banks and cash withdrawal machines, prompting many businesses to shut down at the time. With police forces saying they will not be present on the streets or interfere with the developments on 30 June, fears of similar escalations have surfaced.
According to reports in AlBorsa newspaper, foreign banks including Arab African Bank (AAB), Faisal Islamic Bank and Misr Iran Development Bank will also cater to the public’s banking transactions on that day regardless of the event’s turnout.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported that the managements of several Egyptian banks have convened and put together emergency plans to intensify security measures around their headquarters and branches, in the case of an upheaval.
Banks normally finalise their balance sheets at the end of each month, which puts additional pressure on them to remain open during this time. However, any events developing after 30 June could theoretically result in an emergency shutdown if the banks felt the safety of their personnel was at risk.