India’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India has closed as many as 41.16 lakh savings accounts between April to January in the ongoing fiscal year. India’s largest lender has cited that whose accounts have been closed they did not maintain the average monthly balance. Earlier, there were speculations that SBI could reduce the maintenance of monthly average balance. This is not the first time that SBI has changed its conditions for account holders.

In last year, SBI had re-introduced the penal charges on non-maintenance of average monthly balance and fixed Rs 100 as the penalty. Other public sector banks were already charging Rs 50 crore as penalty from account holders for not maintaining minimum average balance requirements including Punjab National Bank (PNB), Canara Bank and IDBI bank. In comparison to government banks, private sector banks like ICICI and HDFC Banks are charging the much higher fine of Rs 600. The following information has been revealed in a reply RTI query filed by a Chandra Shekhar Gaud from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.

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The bank in RTI reply said, “Due to the provision on non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank has closed 41.16 lakh saving bank accounts between April 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018. Mr Gaud in an RTI query asked the information from the bank about the number of accounts  being closed after introduction of charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance from April 1, 2017.”

Talking about the development, SBI’s managing director (retail and digital banking) PK Gupta said, “SBI has always tried to maintain the interest of its customers first and this is one of the many efforts towards completing account holders expectations. SBI in a statement has said that new charges will be applicable from coming April 1.   

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