In a body blow to the political parties that either wanted to work all Saturdays or to party with bankers on all weekends, the RBI has in a sober note pronounced that counting of Saturdays will go in the following manner:
- First Saturday, FULL working day, banking system to operate till 6:30 pm or such time as a normal weekday
- Second Saturday, Holiday!
- Third Saturday, FULL working day, like the First.
- Fourth Saturday, Holiday!
- Fifth Saturday, Sorry bankers, this round goes to FULL working day.
What “FULL Working Day” means is that there will be all banking functionality:
- Cheque clearance
- NEFT and RTGS
- Go to the bank and get sold insurance disguised as a fixed deposit
- Operate your lockers (if you had got one)
- Banks can borrow from RBI (Repo or MSF) or park excess cash with it
Which means that on the Second and Fourth Saturdays of a month, none of the above will happen. (Except your banker can attempt to call you to sell you insurance, of course)
But on all Saturdays, no markets are open (G-Sec, Forex, Derivatives etc.)
In general the keeping of banks open only half a day didn’t make sense, I suppose. But it follows a government notification.
This is good for bankers. A full holiday or a full working day is what makes sense anyhow. What’s a “half” day? It’s neither here nor there.
(FWIW, I vote for full time markets all days. Have them running all day if you like. It will actually reduce volatility in the longer term. )