Indore, July 18: In a shocking news, The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has collected Rs 151.66 crore as penalty from its customers during the last financial year for not keeping a minimum balance in 1.23 crore savings accounts, reveals an RTI query.
"During the FY 2017-18, a total penalty of Rs 151.66 crore has been recovered due to non-maintenance of minimum balance in 1,22,98,748 savings fund accounts," PNB replied in the response of a query filed by RTI activist Chandra Shekhar Gaud.
The bank charged Rs 31.99 crore as a penalty in the first quarter of FY18, Rs 29.43 crore in the second, Rs 37.27 crore in the third and Rs 52.97 crore in the fourth quarter, PNB said in the RTI reply.
Economist Jayantilal Bhandari questioned the role of public sector banks especially in this case, saying, "On one hand, the government is running a campaign to associate more and more people with the banking system, while on the other hand, public sector banks are charging the saving accounts for not keeping a minimum balance."
Bhandari urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to immediately review the rates of this penalty, being recovered by banks, in the interests of savings account holders of the poor and middle classes.