Punjab National Bank (PNB) has collected Rs 151.66 crore as penalty from its customers who could not maintain a minimum balance in saving accounts during the fiscal year 2017-18.
“During 2017-18, a total penalty of Rs 1.51 billion has been recovered due to non-maintenance of minimum balance in 122,98,748 savings fund accounts,” said officials from PNB.
The bank charged Rs 320 million as penalty in the first quarter of FY18, Rs 290 million in the second, Rs 370 million in the third and Rs 530 million in the fourth quarter.
Interestingly, the collection data was of the same year when biggest banking scam worth Rs 13,700 crore was unearthed at PNB’s Mumbai branch. The said amount was recovered from its 1.23 crore bank account holders who could not maintain the minimum balance in their saving accounts, an RTI query has revealed.
Just like PNB, the country’s biggest public lender State Bank of India (SBI) also netted nearly Rs 1,772 crore – 12 per cent more than its profits for the second quarter of FY18 – from customers for not keeping minimum balance in the accounts between April 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018. Also, due to the non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank closed 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts.
Many around the nation have expressed their view on PNB and RBI, claiming their act to be unjust as most account holders who can’t maintain minimum balance are poor and middle-class people. Penalising the rural class while many absconders roaming free is unfair, says experts.
SBI earned Rs 1,771 crore during April-Nov 2017 as penalty from customers who didn’t maintain min balance of Rs ~5000. More than bank’s July-Sep quarter profit of Rs 1,581 crore. Shameful to penalise poor while giving free NPA pass to some
— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) January 2, 2018