As per a study by the IIT Bombay, various banks including SBI have been levying high charges on some of the services rendered to poor persons maintaining zero-balance or BSBD account.
It has been noted that for BSBDA account holders, the country's leading PSU lender SBI has been charging Rs. 17.7 per transaction for every debit beyond four transactions that have already been carried out. And these unreasonable charges led to undue collections amounting to more than Rs. 300 crore from nearly 12 crore BSBDA holders of SBI during the period 2015-2020.
At the same, the country's second leading lender PNB also collected Rs. 9.9 crore during the same period from as many as 3.9 crore BSBD accounts.
And this is being seen as breach in the RBI regulations on BSBDAs as SBI having the highest number of such accounts, when it charged @ Rs. 17.7 for every debit transactions beyond four transactions 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," the study by IIT Bombay professor Ashish Das stated.
Charges of BSBDA are guided by RBI guidelines as on September 2013. As per the guidelines, the account holders are allowed to withdraw more than 4 times a month, at the bank's discretion provided the bank does not charge for the same.