A recent study by the IIT-Bombay has revealed that several banks, including SBI, have been imposing excessive charges on certain services provided to poor persons having zero-balance or Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts (BSBDA).
The study highlighted that the SBI’s decision to levy a charge of Rs. 17.70 for every debit transaction beyond 4 by the BSBDA account holders cannot be considered as “reasonable.”
It also observed that the imposition of service charges resulted in undue collections to the tune of over Rs. 300 crore from among nearly 12 crore Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account holders of SBI during the period 2015-20. India’s second-largest public sector lender, PNB, which has 3.9 crore BSBD accounts, collected Rs. 9.9 crore during the same period.
The study by IIT Bombay Professor Ashish Das stated, “There had been systematic breach in the RBI regulations on BSBDAs by few banks, most notably by the SBI that hosts the maximum number of BSBDAs, when it charged @ Rs. 17.70 for every debit transaction (even via digital means) beyond four a month…. This imposition of service charges resulted in undue collections to the tune of over Rs. 300 crore from among nearly 12 crore BSBDA holders of SBI during the period 2015-20, of which the period 2018-19 alone saw a collection of Rs. 72 crore and the period 2019-20, Rs. 158 crore.”