After reports of some banks, including Bank of Baroda, levying charges for withdrawal and deposit of money, the Union Finance Ministry has clarified that no service charge is applicable to basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) accounts including Jan Dhan accounts. For regular savings accounts, current accounts, cash credit accounts and overdraft accounts, the ministry has said that public sector banks do not propose to raise bank charges in the near future in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per reports, Bank of Baroda was charging Rs 50 per deposit transaction after three free deposits for savings account customers in metro urban areas. For senior citizens, pensioners and savings account customers in rural or semi-urban areas, this fee was Rs 40.
It was also reported that BoB was charging current account holders and Cash Credit/Overdraft (CC/OD) account holders a minimum of Rs 50 and a maximum of Rs 20,000 if they deposit more than Rs 1 lakh per day. For withdrawals, three free transactions excluding ATM transactions will be allowed for free, after which those in metro regions will be charged Rs 125, and senior citizens, pensioners and those with a savings account in rural or semi urban regions will be charged Rs 100 per transaction.
The Finance Ministry has said that BoB has reduced the number of free cash deposits and withdrawals from five each per month to three each per month, with no change in the charges for transactions in excess of these free transactions. It added that however, the public sector bank has since decided to withdraw the changes in the light of the current COVID-19 situation. Further, no other PSB has increased such charges recently.
â€śAlthough, as per RBI guidelines, all banks, including PSBs, are permitted to levy charges for their services in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner, based upon costs involved, other PSBs have also intimated that they do not propose to raise bank charges in the near future in view of the COVID pandemic,â€ť the ministry added.
However, there is no clarity over transaction charges being levied by private sector banks being withdrawn, with reports suggesting that banks such as ICICI Bank and Axis Bank would start levying charges for making cash deposits at an ATM. While ICICI Bank is reportedly levying a convenience fee of Rs 50 on deposits at the ATM on bank holidays and non-business hours (6 pm to 8 am) on working days, Axis Bank will levy a similar fee for cash deposits done between 5 pm and 9.30 am on working days and on holidays.