Banks collect Rs 9722 cr as minimum balance penalty in three years
New Delhi: After the implementation of the norm to charge penalty for not maintaining minimum balance in regular savings bank accounts, 22 leading banks in the country have collected Rs 9721.94 crores in this regard.
18 public sector banks have collected Rs 6155.10 crores and four leading private sector banks charged Rs 3566.84 crores as penalty in three years from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019.
According to the guidelines of Reserve Bank, account holders of basic savings accounts (BSBD) including Jan Dhan accounts need not maintain minimum balance. Till March 31, 2019, there are 57.3 crores such accounts in India. Among this, 35.27 crores are Jan Dhan accounts. Penalty is charged for rest of the savings bank accounts.
Banks are liable to charge service charge for various services in such accounts. The order issued on July 1, 2015 strictly says that the charges should be justifiable and must be according to the spending power. However, minimum balance rate is different in each banks.
In June 2017, SBI had raised the minimum balance rate to Rs 5000. Thus, in April-November period in 2017, SBI collected Rs 1771 crore as penalty. As it attracted huge criticism from customers, SBI then reduced the minimum balance rate in urban areas to Rs 3000, in semi urban areas Rs 2000 and in rural areas, Rs 1000. Fine rate was restructured between Rs 10 – Rs 100 without tax.