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ABIF: 30 bank branches suffer serious damage in Chile protests

Thirty bank branches suffered serious damage amid violent protests over hikes in transportation fares in Chile, while 130 other locations were damaged partially, Pulso reported, citing José Manuel Mena, president of the ABIF banking association.

Meanwhile, more than 260 ATMs were affected by the protests. The figures account for 8% of the country's branches and 3.3% of total ATMs, Mena said.

On Sunday, the banking association released a statement to say that a contingency plan would be set in place, to evaluate branch openings on a case-by-case basis. Under current law, a bank cannot close all of its branches and must obtain authorization from financial regulator CMF not to operate, which is only allowed under extraordinary situations.

Meanwhile, the ministry of finance convened a meeting with the financial stability council, or CEF, to analyze the protests' possible implications for the financial system and coordinate measures among financial authorities.

President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency in the country's capital of Santiago as protests against recent public transportation fare hikes turned into violent riots and resulted in widespread destruction. The Chilean government reportedly hiked metro fares to as much as $1.17 due to a devaluation of the local currency and rising fuel costs, prompting protests from high school and university students.