"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 an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud.
Now SBI customers have even more cause to celebrate: The lender has made a decision to lower the penalty further, to just Rs 15, plus GST, per month for customers in the metros and urban centres.
SBI has also slashed charges for not-maintenance of Rs2,000 as ABM in bank accounts in semi-urban areas to Rs7.50-12 and Rs1,000 in accounts in rural area to Rs5-10.
At present, you have to maintain the minimum balance of Rs. 3000 in metro cities in your account. "Bank has always focussed on keeping the interests of its customers first and this is one of our many efforts towards fulfilling customer expectations", says P. K. Gupta, MD - Retail & Digital Banking, SBI.
Including SBI, other banks across the country also charge penalties if there are not enough funds in the account. The move had invited widespread criticism. This means that the SBI has reduced the penalty for the balance sheet in the savings account.
It slashed service charges for non-maintenance of AMB by 20-50%. But now, those charges have been revised to Rs 15 plus GST per month.
Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, basic savings bank deposits accounts (BSBD), pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from the government and accounts of minors are exempted from complying with the minimum balance requirement.
The penalty for non-maintenance of MAB is calculated on a staggered basis - depending on the shortfall - so be sure to go through your bank's website for the relevant details.
Additionally, students up to the age of 21 years are also exempted. The amount was also almost half of the Rs 3,586 crore the bank earned as net profit from April to September.