Banks continue to harvest a windfall at the cost of those who don’t have resources to maintain prescribed minimum balance in their accounts. Public sector banks (PSBs) collected Rs 3,551 crore as charges from saving bank account holders for failure to maintain the required minimum balance. An official in the Ministry of Finance said that in last four years, 21 PSBs and three private sector banks (ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank ) collected over Rs 11,500 crore from customers who did not maintain a minimum balance in their savings accounts.
SBI savings account holder who failed to maintain minimum balance is charged between Rs 5 and Rs 15 (plus GST) for various levels of the shortfall. SBI customers are compulsorily required to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3,000 in metro cities while in semi-urban cities the minimum level is Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 in rural areas. The customers of private banks like HDFC Bank are required to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 10,000 in urban cities, Rs 5,000 in semi-urban cities and Rs 2500 in rural areas.