The Bank Employees Federation of India has demanded that State Bank of India, the country’s largest public sector bank, withdraw the proposed plan to levy charges on transactions made though bank’s mobile wallet. Last week, SBI had said it would introduce a new facility through which every withdrawal of cash through ATMs using the bank’s mobile wallet would attract a charge of Rs 25. BEFI Tamil Nadu unit General Secretary C P Krishnan said the association wanted SBI to withdraw the plan “forthwith”. He pointed out that SBI which has already in control of 25 per cent of the total business in the banking industry, had increased it to 33 per cent, following the merger of five subsidiary banks from April 1, 2017.
Stating that SBI had changed its earlier stand from charging for transactions made through ATM to levying a charge for transactions through e-wallet, he said SBI had also planned to impose charges on exchange of soiled notes. “SBI management has begun a war on the common man and the SBI clients numbering around 25 crore in the name of service charges and fine. This would set a bad precedent for other public sector banks”, he said.
Recalling SBI’s announcement in 2012 that it would waive the rule to maintain minimum balance for Savings Bank account holders, he said the new announcement of steep increase in charges to those who do not maintain minimum balance will drive “crore of people away from the bank.” “We strongly deplore this move of the SBI and demand that the RBI and Central Government instruct the SBI management to withdraw it immediately”, he said.