An RTI (Right to Information) query revealed that the State Bank of India (SBI) has closed 41.16 lakh savings accounts from the months of April to January in the current fiscal year. The accounts were closed because of the non-maintenance of the minimum balance.
During April last year, SBI had re-introduced the penalty charges on non-maintenance of average monthly balance. Though later in October, it had revised down the charges to some extent.
“Due to provisions of penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank has closed 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts between 1 April 2017 and 31 January 2018,” the bank replied to an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.
However, on Tuesday, SBI brought down its charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance by up to 75% from a maximum of Rs 50 per month plus taxes at 18% to Rs 15. For urban and metro customers, the average monthly balance is of Rs 3,000 per month. For semi-urban and rural centers, the charges have been reduced from Rs 40 to Rs 12, and Rs 10 respectively.
“We have reduced these charges taking into account the feedbacks and sentiments of our customers. 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,” P K Gupta, MD – Retail and Digital Banking, SBI was quoted as saying.
The minimum balance requirement in the savings account is Rs 2,000 for urban areas, while the same for rural centres is Rs 1,000. The bank has currently offered its customers the option to shift from regular savings accounts to BSBD accounts on which no charges are levied.