Bengaluru: If an ATM (automated teller machine) is covered with grills and is locked up after 10 pm, don't be surprised. It is part of a new set of rules by the State Bank of India (SBI) that ATMs on the premises of SBI branches would be covered with grills and will be operational only for limited hours of the day.
Three ATMs next to the SBI branch in Dooravani Nagar in ITI Colony near KR Puram were covered with grills.
A bank official said, "I heard that as per a new rule, SBI ATMs will operate from 6 am to 10 pm and after that they will be closed for the public."
Bank officials said that since May 21, the ATMs have been functioning till 10 pm and after that the security guards will lock them up and open only at 6 am the next day.
Asked if the grills will be in place for all SBI ATMs, an officer said, "We have heard that it is for ATMs that are situated on the premises of a branch. We are also not sure if this rule of opening ATMs only during a stipulated time is applicable across the country or only in Bengaluru." Asked if security guards will be deployed round the clock, he said that the decision will be taken by the senior management.
A senior officer said that they cannot give information as to why ATMs are being grilled, but it can be assumed that it is for security reasons.
A customer, Sayantan Sen, said, "Most of the time, ATMs in the city run dry and are out of cash. Now, this rule defeats the whole purpose of an ATM. For the first time, we are hearing about ATMs being secured with grills and kept open only for a limited period. What about those who want to withdraw money after 10 pm?"...