I wish to get a change in RBI policy on ATM charges by banks on customers

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The Governor

Reserve Bank of India



Respected Sir,

Sub: Charges on ATM withdrawals made from time to time – reg.

It is well known that banks levy charges on withdrawals from ATMs if it crosses a particular number of times a month. This directive as supposed to be from RBI has made banks impose it with impunity without addressing issues of service provided to customers. Let me elaborate…

1.       I have an account with, say, Canara Bank and I wish to withdraw money from my account. The ATM is “unable to dispense cash” for reasons best known to the bank. But my urgency demands that I withdraw money from some other ATM. With a limited number of times a month that I can do so, I get charged.

2.       I need money urgently and I don’t get money from my bank’s ATM nearby. Then I scout around and find my bank’s ATMs in many places doesn’t not dispense cash or is out of service and I end up withdrawing cash from a different bank’s ATM and get charged.

While I understand (though I disagree) that banks need to levy service charges on withdrawals, the banks have to understand their responsibility and accountability in ensuring all ATMs they have set up are up and running. If they are out of service or cash then how can you blame and charge the customer for withdrawing from another bank’s ATM? Is it not our money that we are withdrawing? What is the accountability of the banks to keep their ATMs in service?

I suggest that in the void of such accountability of the banks to have an operable ATM, they should not levy charges. I wish the RBI to do its own study on this and pass orders to restrict banks from levying charges when their ATMs are not working. If this is not done then millions of Indians will be paying “seemingly” small amounts from their savings account for no fault of theirs and it would only enrich banks to underwrite bad debts.

Now I demand that RBI instructs all banks to stop this nonsense of levying charges on customers until they set their homes right. Is it too much to ask, or should we go to court with statistics to prove the point and get a court order?

In the interest of the people of India it is critical for RBI to respond with alacrity.

As if what I mentioned is something RBI was not aware of! Please act in the interest of the common man and the country.

Yours sincerely

Sreeram SV