Amidst rising demand from banks that they be allowed to increase user fees and limit free access to automated teller machines (ATMs), senior-most Reserve Bank Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said it is "ridiculous" for a bank to charge its own customers for these services.
"You are saying charging for using your ATMs. Tomorrow you will start charging for going to the bank," Chakrabarty said here while replying to a query on the matter.
"I think it is a little bit ridiculous that bank will charge customers for using an ATM," he said, adding that banks must compare the charges of serving a customer at a branch as against at the ATM.
RBI does not decide on service charges, and it was up to the banks to decide their charges, he added.
Last week financial services secretary Rajiv Takru had said decision on ATM charges would be taken by the Reserve Bank. Takru had himself favoured free ATM services.
Most banks are losing money because of ATMs. After a near-fatal attack on a Corporation Bank employee at an ATM in Bangalore last November, many states made it mandatory to have round-the-clock security at ATMs, pushing up banks' costs.
Banks' umbrella body IBA had said this would cost an additional Rs 40,000 per ATM per month. The IBA requested RBI to cap the number of free transactions to five per month across any ATM network.
Meanwhile, Chakrabarty, who spoke at a financial inclusion event organised by 'Economic Times' here today, also said the RBI will accept the "worthwhile" recommendations from the Nachiket Mor committee on financial inclusion.
"Some of the recommendations will be implemented. Some suggestions which are worthwhile will be implemented," he said, adding, he has not read the over-270 page report fully.