Bank of China (Hong Kong), the city's second-largest banking group, will extend the opening hours of 12 branches on Thursdays and Fridays after it introduces a five-day working week next month. The bank will continue to provide services at all branches on Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm. A few designated branches will offer specified and appointment services on demand. Vice-chairman and chief executive He Guangbei said yesterday the bank would introduce a five-day working week for its 13,000 staff from next month. 'We will recruit the necessary manpower to ensure that we have sufficient human resources,' he said. BOCHK and its subsidiaries, Nanyang Bank and Chiyu Bank, have selected 12 branches for the extension of business hours from 5pm to 7pm on Thursdays and Fridays, to provide wealth management services. Meanwhile, the cut-off time for cheque deposits on working Fridays will be extended to 5pm at all branches. Funds from cheques will be available at 3pm between Mondays and Fridays, one hour earlier than the existing arrangement. Several banks have taken the government's lead, announcing plans for a five-day work week. Some, like HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank (HK) and Bank of East Asia, will open branches on Sundays and extend opening hours at selected branches on Saturdays. DBS Bank (Hong Kong) will extend business hours at all its 59 branches on weekdays from next month.