Banks close some branches in Hong Kong, Macau amid virus outbreak

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Jan 31 that around 20 to 30 per cent of bank branches are expected to be closed temporarily and some of the remaining ones will be open for restricted hours.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Jan 31 that around 20 to 30 per cent of bank branches are expected to be closed temporarily and some of the remaining ones will be open for restricted hours.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - OCBC, HSBC, Standard Chartered and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have closed some branches in Hong Kong while limiting services at others, due to the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China.

OCBC Wing Hang Bank closed three branches in Hong Kong last Friday. Three branches in Macau were closed on Sunday. The bank has 54 branches in Hong Kong and 12 in Macau.

UOB has closed one of its three commercial banking centres that serves corporates. It does not have retail branches in Hong Kong.

HSBC shut 24 branches, premier centres and business centres on Monday (Feb 3) until further notice, including those in Nathan Road, Aberdeen Centre and Convention Plaza Centre. It has closed one branch in Macau.

Standard Chartered suspended operations at 18 branches yesterday, including at Two Chinachem Central, Great Eagle Centre in Wanchai and Exchange Square in Central. The bank has over 70 branches in Hong Kong and one in Macau.  

The Macau branch was closed last week, along with all other banks' branches in the area, as a precautionary measure after the Chinese New Year holidays.

It resumed business yesterday.

A StanChart spokesman said: "We have stepped up the cleaning and public hygiene measures in the branch, and are providing flexible work arrangements to the staff, including working from home."

DBS has not closed any branches. A spokesman said 13 outlets are providing limited services until further notice and the rest are fully operational.

 
 
 

The Straits Times understands that teller services have been suspended at those 13 branches. The bank has over 30 branches in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said last Friday that around 20 to 30 per cent of bank branches are expected to be closed temporarily and some of the remaining ones will be open for restricted hours.

The Hong Kong Association of Banks website will have regular updates on the status of branches.

Hong Kong has 15 confirmed cases of the virus.