India's largest bank SBI, on Thursday, clarified that it has not closed 41.16 lakh bank accounts as reported by some media outlets on Tuesday. State Bank of India (SBI) clarified that these bank accounts have not been closed Suo-motu.
India’s largest bank SBI, on Thursday, clarified that it has not closed 41.16 lakh bank accounts as reported by some media outlets on Tuesday. State Bank of India (SBI) clarified that these bank accounts have not been closed Suo-motu. “In a widely publicised report in yesterday’s news dailies about SBI reducing minimum balance charges, it was also reported that after introduction of the requirement of AMB, SBI closed 41.16 lakh accounts. The Bank would like to clarify that these accounts have not been closed Suo-motu,” it said.
The bank said there are a total of 41 crore Savings Bank Accounts opened with SBI at this moment out of which 2.10 crore bank accounts were opened in the current financial year. The bank said out of this, 1.10 crore accounts are PMJDY accounts which are exempt from average monthly balance requirement.
On account of the merger of SBI’s associate banks with SBI in April 2017, where the customers were having multiple accounts with different Associate Banks and SBI, the number of accounts closed during the year is relatively high. SBI added that those who are not able to maintain average monthly balance can convert their Regular Savings Bank accounts to BSBD accounts, free of charge.
“Effective 01.04.2018, the service charges for non-maintenance of average monthly balance have been reduced by 75% which has been very well appreciated by customers of the Bank,” the statement said.
This response from SBI came after an RTI reply claimed that the bank had closed as many as 41.16 lakh savings accounts between April-January in the current fiscal year for not maintaining the average monthly balance. “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 had reportedly replied to an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.
Recently, the bank had reduced the charge for not maintaining the average monthly balance by up to 75 per cent.
The bank has reduced the penal charges for non- maintenance of AMB in the metros and urban centres from a maximum of Rs 50 per month plus taxes at 18 per cent to Rs 15 a month and taxes. For urban and metro customers average monthly balance is of Rs 3,000 per month.
For semi-urban and rural centres, the charges have been reduced from Rs 40 to Rs 12, and Rs 10 per, respectively. The MBA requirement for semi-urban area is Rs 2,000, while for rural centres is Rs 1,000.