State Bank of India (SBI) collected a staggering Rs 1,771 crore in the form of penalty from customers who failed to keep 'minimum' balance in their savings bank accounts, according to data released by the finance ministry. The statistics made public by the ministry was for the first eight months of current financial year i.e, April-November 2017-18. Last year, the bank had tweaked its minimum balance requirement rules in the aftermath of demonetisation on 8 November, 2016. Due to excess liquidity in banks and acute cash crunch in country, India's banks mostly the public sector ones were burdened with huge task of remonetisation as government had started injecting new currency notes in the banking system.
A report in The Indian Express said the money SBI got as penalty from customers was more than the bank’s July-September profit of Rs 1,581.55 crore. It was nearly half of the Rs 3,586 crore profit SBI earned in April-September period. However, country's largest public sector lender did not collect any fine from levy of charges for non-maintenance of MAB during the 2016-17 financial year.
The bank re-introduced these charges in current fiscal after a long gap of five years. The IE report mentions that SBI has some 42 crore savings bank accounts of which 13 crore are Basic Savings Bank Deposits Accounts and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts. Both these categories are exempted from levy of such charges. In India almost all the banks charge a certain amount to account holders for non-maintenance of amount specified by banks.
Later on Tuesday evening, the SBI said in a tweet some accounts are exempt from monthly average balance (MAB) requirement rule. The below categories of savings bank accounts are excluded from MAB norms.
— State Bank of India (@TheOfficialSBI) January 2, 2018
Another public sector bank, Punjab National Bank, received second highest collection through fine for non-maintenance of minimum balance. PNB got of Rs 97.34 crore in such levies during the April-November period. After the PNB, came the Central Bank of India that put on record Rs 68.67 crore as fines collected. Canara Bank managed to get Rs 62.16 crore.
In April 2017, the largest state-owned lender brought in rules for monthly minimum balance for savings bank account customers. Initially, the accounts were divided into four -- metro, urban, semi-urban and rural categories. The bank had fixed Rs 5,000 for metro, Rs 3,000 for urban, Rs 2,000 for semi-urban and Rs 1,000 for rural customers as minimum balance to be maintained by them. The lender in September last year reduced minimum balance for metro account from Rs 5,000 to Rs 3,000.
Similarly, the penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance in an account in metro category was Rs 50 for 50 percent shortfall, Rs 75 for shortfall between 50-75 percent and Rs 100 for 75 percent or more shortfall, according to the report.
Updated Date: Jan 02, 2018 19:43 PM