Keeping in view the devastation caused by Kerala floods, several banks, including the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, have announced a slew of measures to help the flood-hit people in the state and give them some financial relief. SBI, for instance, has donated Rs 2 crore to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for the flood-affected regions in the state. Around 2.7 lakh employees are also being encouraged by SBI to make contributions, which will be matched with an equivalent amount by the bank.
Apart from this, SBI has also announced waiver of various fees and charges on banking transactions, which will include
1. Processing fee for any loan relating to flood relief measure.
2. Charges for issuing duplicate passbook, ATM card, Cheque books
3.On late payment fee on EMI
4. All charges on remittance to CMDRF (including NEFT / RTGS remittance from other banks)
5. Charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance from proceeds of relief fund provided by government and agencies to be put on hold. If any such charges is recovered, the same would be refunded.
Apart from the above, SBI has also taken some relief measures to support the flood-affected people. For instance, (1) Xpress Credit will be provided to its existing account holders with relaxed norms (for one month’s consumption); (2) Individuals who have displaced and lost personal documents can open small accounts with only photograph and signature / thumb impression; (3) SBI has deployed Cash @ PoS to meet the daily cash requirement across the state. This will be available for customers to avail Rs 2,000 to meet expenses for basic needs; (4) Employees of SBI are deployed to address requirement of customers and ensure best possible service at this juncture.
SBI has also said that it is making all efforts to restore flood-affected ATMs and branches to make them operational at the earliest, and is working on the possibility of starting operations through temporary premises after taking stock of the overall situation.
On the other hand, ICICI Bank has also announced customer-friendly measures for the Kerala state, apart from a contribution of Rs 10 crore towards flood relief.
The bank, for instance, will waive off penalties on late payment of EMIs for all retail loans – including home, car and personal loans – for its customers in Kerala in the month of August. Also, there will be no penalty for late payment of credit card dues, and no cheque bouncing charges for the bank’s customers in Kerala this month.
Talking about the ICICI Bank’s initiative, Tom Jose, Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, said, “ICICI Bank has promised to donate Rs 10 crore for the relief and rehabilitation work in the state. Of this, Rs 8 crore will be donated to the CM’s Distress Relief Fund while Rs 2 crore will be provided to all the 14 district administrations to help them buy relief material. In this hour of need, it is important that we all stand together to help the people of Kerala.”