SBI recovered Rs 164 crore from the poor with Jandhan account
SBI (State Bank of India) continued to charge during the pandemic. During this time, the bank earned about Rs 164 crore.
This has been revealed in the report of IIT Bombay. The report states that the bank violated the condition attached to Jan Dhan accounts while charging fees.Not only this, it also broke the standards of the Reserve Bank of India in which it was urged to keep the charges on transactions reasonable.
According to the report, Jandhan account holders were initially not allowed more than 4 transactions per month. By changing the rules, SBI has allowed more than 4 digital transactions unlike other banks. However, they charged Rs 17.70 per transaction. That is, if a Jandhan account holder was making a purchase of Rs. 15 per month from UPI after four transactions, then Rs. 17.70 was deducted from his account.
When the government exempted UPI payments from fees, it was found that between January 1, 2020 to April 6, 2020 and July 1, 2020 to September 14, 2020, there were 222 crore UPI transactions in SBI. Out of these, 5.1 crore transactions were charged at Rs 17.70 per transaction. Thus the bank deducted more than Rs 90 crore during this period.
The bank repaid this money in February-March 2021 but on this amount the account holders get about Rs. 2.1 crore. Loss of interest. Not only that, the bank has given Rs. Investment tax is around Rs. 2.6 crore. Earned According to the report, Jandhan account holders are also entitled to this amount. According to the report, it has also come to light that despite having zero balance facility, the average balance in Jan Dhan accounts remained Rs 2,457 more till the end of March 2020.
The report estimates that the bank thus collected about Rs 164 crore from 12 crore Jan Dhan account holders between April 2017 and December 2019. This amount is still with SBI. The report rejects SBI's argument that the fee was justified, as the RBI had authorized the bank to levy "equitable" fees. Citing RBI's 2013 principles, the report said that SBI did not waive any additional charges from Jandhan account holders.
The IIT Bombay report claims that SBI discriminated against the beneficiaries of the Prime Minister's scheme to link the poor to the banking system. This attitude of SBI was complained to the Ministry of Finance in August 2020. Following this, the CBDT issued a consultation to the banks on 30 August 2020 to refund the fees charged from the account holders from 1 January 2020. SBI started repaying the amount on February 17, 2021, but 164 crores are yet to be repaid.
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