Public Sector Banks Collected ₹1,996 Cr Minimum Balance Penalty From Customers In FY19
Public sector banks collected ₹1,996.46 crore penalty from customers who did not maintain minimum monthly balance in their savings account in 2018-19, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Singh Thakur, informed the Parliament on November 25.
In 2017-18, the 18 public sector banks collected ₹3,368.42 crores by levying minimum balance penalty, much higher than ₹790.22 crore collected in 2016-17.
“The reduction in the amount through the levy of charges by PSBs during 2018-19 include a reduction in charges for non-maintenance of balance by State Bank of India, with effect from October 1, 2017,” Thakur said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
SBI charged the penalty till 2012 and reintroduced it from 1 April 2017. After SBI received criticism for levying a hefty charge, SBI slashed the penalty with effect from 1 October 2017.
Thakur said the banks do not levy any such penalty on Basic Savings Bank Accounts (BSBD) including those opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Till March-end 2019, there were 57.3 crore BSBD accounts across the country, including 35.27 crore Jan Dhan accounts, as per the Reserve Bank of India. “There is no minimum balance penalty for these accounts,” Thakur said. BSBD accounts provide certain basic minimum facilities free of charge.
For accounts apart from the BSBD accounts, banks are permitted to fix service charges on various services offered by them. Banks must ensure that such charges are reasonable and not out of line with the average cost of providing these services, as per RBI guidelines.