The State Bank of India has closed as many as 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts between April and January for not maintaining the minimum monthly balance, reveals an RTI query.The nation's largest lender had re-introduced the charges for non-maintenance of average monthly balance in April last year after a gap of five years. The bank later revised downwards the charges for not maintaining the minimum balance in October.Notably, the bank had yesterday announced a steep 75% reduction in penalty for non-maintenance of monthly average balance. The new charges will be effective April 1. "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 replied to an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud from Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.
The RTI reply was furnished by the state-run lender on February 28, 2018.The reply was to a specific query on the number of accounts closed after introduction of charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance from April 1, 2017.The State Bank has 41 crore savings bank accounts. Of that, 16 crore are under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna/ basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) and of pensioner, minors, social security benefit holders which are all exempted from the penalty for not maintaining of the minimum balance. Between April and November, the bank had netted a windfall of Rs 1,771.67 crore, more than its second-quarter profit, from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance, according to the finance ministry data.