Banks including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank on Wednesday started charging a minimum amount of Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.
The charges would apply to savings as well as salary accounts effective Wednesday, HDFC Bank said in a circular. The bank would also cap the third-party cash transactions at Rs 25,000 per day, while cash-handling charges would be withdrawn effective Wednesday, the circular added.
The move was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.
For the basic no-frills bank accounts, maximum four cash withdrawals would continue to remain free and there would be no fees for cash deposits.
In case of ICICI Bank, the charges are same as they were before the demonetisation move announced on 8 November, while there is an increase in such fees in case of some others.
According to details on ICICI Bank website, there will be no charge for first four transactions a month in home branch while Rs 5 per thousand rupees would be charged thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150 in the same month. The third party limit would be Rs 50,000 per day.
For non-home branches, ICICI Bank would not charge anything for first cash withdrawal of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand rupees thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150. For anywhere cash deposit, ICICI Bank would charge Rs 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of 150) at branches, while deposit at ATMs would be free of charge for first cash deposit of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand thereafter.
ATM charges have also been re-introduced. At Axis Bank, the first five transactions or Rs 10 lakh of cash deposits or withdrawals would be free and charged at Rs 5 per thousand rupees or Rs 150, whichever is higher. It could not be ascertained whether the public sector banks have also begun imposing such charges. When contacted, a senior official said there has been no directive from the government to the banks regarding levy of such charges.
The unexpected move obviously invited massive responses from people on social media
Modi's rival. Congress party was quick to criticise the move
Many people on social media condemned the new rule
#ICICI bank is helping to stack black money I guess.dumb morons,y do we need bank if you gonna charge everything. It's our money not yours.— Manibalajic (@ManiBalajic) March 2, 2017
ICICI and HDFCKneeling down before corporate and nailing commoner eyes. #horrendous #charges #for #cashprocessing— kathir Gnanasekaran (@kathiraspire) March 2, 2017
@HDFC_Bank ATM uses 4 is too low. Rs 150 charge is exploitative. Think of total value limit. Forcing to shift our salary a/c to other bank.— JAGDISH PR. JAKHOTIA (@JAKHOTIA_JP) March 2, 2017