The charges begin at Rs 25 for cash deposits of up to Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 per thousand thereafter. The public sector bank has started this practice with affect from August 6. The bank has also started charging for printing of pass-books in branches other than the home branch.
When asked about the rationale behind this move, Amitabh Guha, joint managing director of the State Bank of India, confirmed that the bank had adopted the practice, but was tight-lipped about the reason behind it. “We have started charging for this service, but we are among the last ones to do so,” Guha added
The SBI move is significant, as it is not only the largest commercial bank in the country, with a market share of close to 16 per cent, but also has the largest customer base among all banks in the country.
Some other public sector banks too charge for these services, but with certain relaxations. For instance, Punjab National Bank, the second largest public sector bank, does not charge anything for cash deposits up to Rs 25,000 and charges only Rs 1.5 per thousand thereafter.
“Earlier, for depositing any amount in an account, a customer or his representative had to visit that branch in person or had to make a draft, which used to cost more. Now, this can be done easily, Banks are only charging for the service, as each transaction leads to some cost to banks,” said Arun Kaul, general manager, Punjab National Bank.
Private sector banks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and so on, have already been charging some amount for providing these services.
For instance, the country’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank, charges Rs 150 for deposits up to Rs 30,000 and Rs 5 per thousand thereafter for cash deposits in non-base branches (for branches outside city).