The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) collected around Rs 346 crore from 2017-18 up to October 2021 in the form of additional services to customers holding basic savings, including Jan Dhan accounts, which were beyond their free services, the Finance Ministry said in Parliament on Tuesday.
”As informed by SBI, they have charged Rs 345.84 crore during the period from 2017-18 up to October 2021 for providing additional services demanded by customers beyond the minimum allowed free services,” Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
As per CBDT guidelines dated August 30, 2020, banks were advised to refund the charges collected, if any on or after January 1, 2020 on transactions carried out using the electronic modes namely RuPay debit card, UPI, UPI QR code, and not to impose charges on future transactions carried out through these modes, he added.
As per RBI guidelines, the basic savings bank deposit account (BSBDA) including accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) provide basic minimum facilities free of charge and without the need to maintain a minimum balance.
However, the RBI has advised the bank that they are free to evolve requirements including pricing structure for additional value-added services beyond the stipulated basic minimum services on reasonable and transparent basis in a non-discriminatory manner, Karad said.
The customer can avail to such services on an optional basis. In response to a separate question of similar nature Karad said: ”As informed by SBI, they have charged Rs 224.8 crore during the period from 2019-20 to 2020-21 for providing additional services demanded by the customers beyond the minimum allowed free services at BC/CSP.” SBI levied charges worth Rs 152.42 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 72.38 crore in 2020-21 across 36 states and union territories, and refunded Rs 90.19 crore during January 1, 2020 to September 14, 2020, the minister informed citing the data provided by SBI.
”State Bank of India has informed that they have levied charges only on the value added services demanded by the Jan Dhan customers beyond the prescribed number of free services,” he said.