Country’s largest lender State Bank of India said on Tuesday that around 95 per cent of SBI Group’s automatic teller machines (ATMs) are functional, with 140 machines re-calibrated to dispense new Rs 2,000 notes. SBI Group, which includes its five subsidiaries, has 55,000 ATMs and 7,000 cash deposit machines (CDMs). SBI alone has close to 17,000 branches. “Nearly 95 per cent State Bank Group ATMs are up and running. Out of 47,000-48,000 ATMs, at any point of time, 41,000 or 42,000 are operational,” SBI managing director Rajneesh Kumar told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. He said around 140 of the group’s ATMs are dispensing new Rs 2,000 notes and the re-calibration for the new Rs 500 notes is in process. “It is a matter of one or two days. Already, crowd has started coming down in many places,” he said. SBI has collected nearly Rs 85,000 crore in deposits between November 10 and November 14 at its branches.
He, however, held that the deposits which will come into the banking system will soon start going out. “Today I am flush with funds. But going forward in the next 10-15 days, all this outflow will start. Right now, it is 15 per cent coming in as deposits, but gradually it will go up,” he said. “As quickly as it has come in, I have a feeling that it will flow out also very quickly as we need the money for exchange. To that extent, it does not give you much comfort in the sense that this money is available for any long-term funding.” On November 8, the Centre had announced to withdraw old higher denominations Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. All the banks were closed for transactions on November 9 and ATMs on November 9 and 10. On Monday, many bank branches were closed, except in southern states, for Gurunanak Jayanti.
He felt that the entire demonetisation process of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will put an additional cost on the banking system. “When you are opening branches from 9 am to 9 pm, there is a cost. There is cost towards staff, logistics and changing the ATMs calibration and recalibration. There is going to be a cost on the banking system,” Kumar said. He further said the bank is procuring indelible ink and from tomorrow, it will be using them to manage crowd and prevent people from making multiple exchanges.
“At many places, people are coming again and again to exchange old notes. Within the bank, on one identity card, it gives a pop-up, but if somebody has done transactions at PNB and come to SBI, then it will be tracked as there is no inter-operable system. That will stop,” Kumar said. People are allowed to exchange Rs 4,500 worth of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes per day.