Banks and financial markets suspended their operations or shortened their business hours on Monday as typhoon Ruby made its way across the central Philippines from the Eastern Samar coast toward Metro Manila, leaving 21 people dead.
The central bank earlier in the day said it has suspended its clearing operations in line with the government’s precautionary move.
“Following the announcement by Malacañang (the presidential palace) of work suspension in government offices in Metro Manila, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said clearing operations for today, December 8, are hereby suspended,” it said in an advisory sent to all media.
The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) also posted an advisory that it was suspending trading during the day as banks were mostly closed or were closing their offices earlier than usual.
“Please be advised that there will be no trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange and no clearing and settlement at the Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines today, December 8, 2014, due to the suspension of clearing and settlement operations in the Philippine banking system,” the PSE said.
BPI, BDO, PBCOM advisories
Several banks, including the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and BDO Unibank (BDO) said in separate advisories they have shortened their bank hours to 2 p.m. or even earlier, depending on Ruby’s impact on the area.
“Branches of the Bank of the Philippine Islands in areas affected by typhoon Ruby will be closed by 2 p.m. today; however, some of these branches may close earlier, depending on local weather conditions,” BPI said.
BPI said that interruptions to telecommunications systems in some areas also had rendered automated teller machines (ATMs) inoperable, and encouraged clients to use online banking for urgent transactions.
BDO also advised clients that its bank branches in greater Metro Manila were closed except for some selected or unaffected areas.
Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM), meanwhile, it was stopping operations in all its bank branches in the metro and Southern Tagalog region from 2 p m.
“Due to the inclement weather caused by Typhoon Ruby, all PBCOM branches and other banking offices in Metro Manila and the Southern Tagalog Region will be closed beginning 2 pm today, 08 December 2014,” PBCOM said.
“PBCOM branches and other banking offices in Central Luzon, Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao remain open for business.
Likewise, our nationwide ATM network is available to service clients,” it added.
Although typhoon Ruby by Monday has weakened to a tropical storm with maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 100 kph, it was expected to dump intense rain on Metro Manila and the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).
Ruby first hit land near Dolores in Eastern Samar on Saturday. It made landfall again on Sunday in Cataingan town in Masbate province.