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PSBs have earned Rs 10,000 cr from people who did not maintain minimum account balance

PW Bureau

According to a response submitted in the Parliament, SBI charged the low monthly average balance till 2012 but stopped levying these charges until March 31, 2016 New Delhi: State-owned lenders have raked in Rs 10,000 crores from people who have not maintained the desired minimum balance in their savings account and from charges levied on ATM withdrawals beyond the free transactions in a span of three and a half years. According to a written response submitted in the Parliament, State Bank of India (SBI) charged the low monthly average balance till 2012 but stopped levying these charges until March 31, 2016. The charges were brought again from October 1, 2017. Private lenders, on the other hand, had the approval from their respective boards and were charging these fees throughout.

The ministry also said public sector banks had informed that they do not have any plans to shut down their ATMs.

Therefore, apart from the Rs 10,000 crores collected by public sector banks, private banks would have also collected a hefty sum of money. Data for such banks was, however, not included in the numbers provided in the Parliament. The questions in response to which the figures were shared with the Parliament was posed by Lok Sabha MP Dibyendu Adhikari. The ministry said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had permitted banks to fix charges on various services rendered by them, as approved by their boards. The banks are to ensure that the charges are reasonable and not out of line with the average cost of providing these services. The ministry also said public sector banks had informed that they do not have any plans to shut down their ATMs. This was in response to the question on whether the government proposes to withdraw 50% of total ATM services in the country by March 2019.