May 7: Over 2000 ATMs spread across various parts of the country has been shut down in a period of 10 months by banks owing to save rising costs. According to the data by Reserve Bank of India, banks have shut down the aforesaid number of ATMs in various locations between May 2017 and February 2018.
As per the given data, approximately 110,116 ATMs were functioning onsite in the country during May 2017, while the numbers came down to 107,630 by February 2018. The number of offline ATMs in the country although saw a marginal increase.
Reports said that Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank were among the banks that vastly shut down its ATMs. The Central Bank data reveals that Canara Bank closed down 189 onsite ATMs in addition to shutting down 808 offsite ATMs. Punjab National Bank saw a reduction of 655 onsite and 467 offsite ATMs.
Bank of India saw a reduction of 208 ATMs collectively, with 108 of them being onsite ATMs. The data also highlights a drop of 317 offsite ATMs for Central Bank of India, whose onsite ATMs witnessed a drop by 27.
Banks have been shutting down both onsite and offsite ATMs in the country in a bid to cut down various costs. Banks were already said to be gearing up for other cost cutting measures including stoppage of free services including ATMs transaction beyond specified limits, refund of fuel surcharge, issue of cheque books and debit cards etc.
The development has been taking place following the pressure over the lenders from taxmen. While charges for services who maintain minimum balance in accounts are getting waived off, Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax has demanded banks to cough up taxes for the services provided for a period of five years, which also covers the pre-GST era.
According to reports, notice for the same has been issued to leading banks including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, with names of other banks expected to join the list in the near future.