New Delhi: Bank customers will soon have to pay more for availing services such as ATM cash withdrawals and cheque returns as lenders led by ICICI Bank Ltd and UTI Bank Ltd have raised the fees for such operations if a minimum balance of Rs5,000 is not maintained in accounts.
“The revision is only in certain categories and has been benchmarked with the industry,” an ICICI Bank spokesperson said, adding that new rates would be applicable from 1 July.
ICICI Bank customers, who do not maintain the quarterly average balance (QAB), will be charged Rs50 per transaction instead of Rs25 earlier. These charges would apply after they avail of five free ATM transactions as against the earlier six during a quarter.
A debit card PIN (personal identification number) regeneration through a branch will now be charged Rs25.
In case of inward cheque return, charges have been raised to Rs350 from the present Rs200, the spokesperson said.
All these charges are in addition to the 12% service tax and the 3% educational cess.
ICICI Bank is already charging as much as Rs750 for every three-month period if any customer fails to maintain a minimum QAB of Rs5,000. For receiving monthly statements, the bank is charging Rs200 from the customers.
UTI Bank has also increased certain charges for customers who maintain to fail QAB of Rs5,000, while some other banks are also planning to hike their service charges.
“We have not increased service charges, but only hiked penal charges from Rs500 to Rs750 for non-maintenance of quarterly balance. For returning cheques, charges have been hiked from Rs250 to Rs350,” UTI Bank’s vice-president (liabilities) Anindya Mitra said.
Centurion Bank of Punjab’s business director (wealth management, distribution and loans), Harpreet Singh, said: “We are not currently increasing our charges and will review the situation after three months.”
Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank executive director K. Raghuraman said: “Our service charges have been static for the past four-five years and in the near future we do not plan any hike.”
Notably, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed the banks not to levy exorbitant service charges and provide details about these charges to their customers.
A study group of RBI has also invited public suggestions on whether banks should impose charges on making payments through cheques to encourage customers to use electronic mode of money transfer.
However, another leading private lender, HDFC Bank, has no immediate plans to hike these charges.
“We have no plans of the sort as of now,” an HDFC Bank spokesperson said.
The bank also requires the maintenance of a minimum QAB of Rs5,000.