The largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has set up a Currency Administration Branch (CAB) in Lucknow. The branch is the first of its kind and will exclusively handle the currency notes. It is also known as a ‘cash factory'.
The bank plans to open one such branch in every city to take care of distributing currency notes and coins to the local banks and ATMs. Besides it will also be responsible to identify the fake currency notes.
Chief General Manager of SBI (Lucknow circle), Shiv Kumar said, "The cash factory will be the nodal point for issuing currency notes to all local SBI branches as well as ATMs. About half a dozen sophisticated note sorting machines will sort out currency notes in four varieties in the branch office."
Kumar informed that the first variety notes will be placed into the ATMs and the second variety, re-issuable notes, will be reserved for customer dealing. The third variety, non-issuable notes will be returned to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
At last the damaged and bad notes detected by machines will fall under the fourth variety and will be kept for manual inspection.
"The new arrangements are aimed at a more efficient and cost-effective centralized currency administration system instead of having multiple currency chests in a centre as prevalent today," added Kumar.
The bank official said that managing the currency chest along with carrying the routine transactions is an additional effort for the bank. The CAB will enable a complete focus on currency chest and therefore make an improved management of currency notes.
The officials added that the cash factory will help to fight against the increasing fake currency rackets in Uttar Pradesh that is becoming a hub for counterfeit currency notes.
In August 2008, RBI discovered fake currency worth Rs 50 lakh from the currency chest of the SBI's Domariaganj branch in Siddharthnagar district.
Kumar informed that the bank will launch next such branch in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.