SBI Closes Over 41 Lakh Savings Accounts For Not Keeping Average Minimum Balance
In a reply to an RTI query, State Bank of India (SBI) stated that over 41 lakh savings accounts were closed for not keeping the average minimum balance (AMB). According to the reports, 41.16 lakh accounts were closed in the first ten months of the current financial year.
Chandrashekhar Gaur, hailing from Madhya Pradesh filed the RTI plea. “Due to provisions of penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank has closed 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts between April 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018,” the bank replied to the RTI query. The RTI plea asked to specify the number of accounts which were closed after the introduction of revised charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance from April 2017.
This report came a day after SBI slashed the charges for non-maintenance of average minimum balance by 70%. It was after a gap of six months that SBI has revised the rates of keeping average monthly balance. SBI has 41 crore savings bank accounts. Of these, 16 crores are under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The pensioners, minors, and the government scheme benefit holders are exempted from keeping average minimum balance.
SBI offered its customers the option to shift from a regular savings account to Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD). “Bank has always focused on keeping the interests of its customers first and this is one of our many efforts towards fulfilling customer expectations. Bank also offers its customers to shift from regular savings bank account to BSBD account on which no charges are levied,” said PK Gupta, MD, SBI to The Economic Times.
How to check the current status of your SBI bank account?
Those who have access to internet banking can check whether your SBI account is valid or not. One can log into www.onlinesbi.com. The customers can also visit any SBI branches for checking the current status of their SBI account.
The revised charges of SBI
In metro and urban areas, the charges for non-maintenance of average minimum balance have been reduced to Rs 50 per month to Rs 15 per month. For semi-urban and rural customers, the charges have been slashed from Rs 40 per month to Rs 12 and Rs 10 respectively. GST charges will be applicable on top of the above-mentioned charges.
At present, the average minimum balance is Rs 3,000 for metro cities, Rs 2,000 for semi-urban and Rs 1,000 for rural areas. Failure to maintain a minimum balance in savings accounts attracts a penalty.
SBI’s profit from charges of non-maintenance of minimum balance
Severe criticisms were drawn at SBI for imposing heavy charges on its consumers. The bank earned an income of Rs 1,771 crore in just 8 months, from consumers who failed to maintain a minimum balance in their savings account. The amount went beyond SBI’s July-September quarter net profit of Rs 1,581 crore.
It was in April 2017 that SBI has revised its average minimum balance charges after a gap of six years following repeated feedback from its stakeholders. In October last year, SBI reduced the service charges on non-maintenance of average minimum balance by 20-25%.