Amidst rising demand from banks that they be allowed to increase user fees and limit free access to automated teller machines (ATMs), Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty, on Thursday, said it was ‘ridiculous’ for a bank to charge its own customers for these services.

“You are saying charging for using your ATMs. Tomorrow you will start charging for going to the bank,” Dr. Chakrabarty said here while replying to a query on the matter.

“I think it is a little bit ridiculous that bank will charge customers for using an ATM,” he said, adding that banks must compare the charges of serving a customer at a branch as against at the ATM.

The RBI did not decide on service charges, and it was up to the banks to decide their charges, he added.

Last week Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru had said decision on ATM charges would be taken by the RBI. Mr. Takru had himself favoured free ATM services.

Most banks are losing money because of ATMs. After a near-fatal attack on a Corporation Bank employee at an ATM in Bangalore last November, many States made it mandatory to have round-the-clock security at ATMs, pushing up banks’ costs.

Banks’ umbrella body IBA had said this would cost an additional Rs.40,000 per ATM a month. The IBA requested the RBI to cap the number of free transactions to five a month across any ATM network.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chakrabarty, who spoke at a financial inclusion event organised by a business daily here on Thursday, also said the RBI would accept the ‘worthwhile’ recommendations from the Nachiket Mor committee on financial inclusion.

“Some of the recommendations will be implemented. Some suggestions which are worthwhile will be implemented,” he said.