India’s largest bank, State Bank of India, denied reports that it had scrapped the facility of providing free ATM transactions.
The bank was responding to media reports that said that all transactions will be chargeable from now on.
Under the Reserve Bank of India’s instructions issued in 2014, all banks must offer a certain number of free transactions via ATMs every month.
For metropolitan regions, the limit was three transactions per month from ATMs of other banks and five from the same bank.
SBI said its circular on charging Rs 25 per transaction, without the free offer, is for withdrawing cash from its ‘Buddy’ payment app, and not from its savings accounts.
For savings accounts, the facility of 8-10 free ATM transactions will continue, the bank said.
However, in case of ‘basic bank accounts’, the limit will be four per month, it added.
“All Normal Saving Bank accounts will continue to get 8 free ATM transactions — five at SBI machines and three at those of other banks in Metros,” SBI said. The number will be 10 in non-metros, including five at SBI facilities and five at other banks. This will be in addition to direct transactions done at bank branches, it added.
However, these facilities will not be available for wallets.
“Rs 25 per transaction is charged for withdrawing from State Bank Buddy through ATMs,” the bank clarified.
The circular had created a flutter as SBI is the largest bank in India, catering to over a third of the country’s account holders.
The SBI spokesperson also gave a copy of the circular issued in the regard.
Some political parties even went to the extent of holding dharnas and protests in front of SBI’s regional headquarters.