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Factcheck: Did SBI make profit by Minimum Balance of 235.06 Cr

Viral Message:
भारतीय स्टेट बैंक ने पिछले 3 महीने में Minimum Balance ना रखने पर ₹235.06 करोड़ Fine के रुप में वसूले हैं!

eMessage on – Social media and internet

Fact Check by Ayupp– Fake

Viral Message Example 

भारतीय स्टेट बैंक ने पिछले 3 महीने में Minimum Balance ना रखने पर ₹235.06 करोड़ Fine के रुप में वसूले हैं!

याद रखें ये पैसा सिर्फ गरीब, मजदूर, छात्र, किसान और मेहनतकश जनता के हैं... क्योंकि अमीर की समस्या Minimum नहीं Miximum है।

और साहब कहते हैं कि ये गरीबों की सरकार है।

🙏 सहमत हो तो आगे भेजो, और SBI का बहिष्कार करो

 Viral Message Verification – Early this Year State Bank of India (SBI) decided to dictate the terms and decided to have higher balance requirement in any account depending upon the location of the bank. The State Bank of India set a min balance requirement of Rs 5,000 in metros and for Rural and semi urban and urban branches, it set the min balance of Rs 1,000, Rs 2000 and Rs 3000 respectively.

Based on this it set a penalty for the person who fails to comply to the new SBI rules. The penalty starts from the range of Rs 20 to Rs 100. The new rules came to play from beginning of April 2017. SBI’s intention was to make more control on it savings account holder. Remember SBI is the largest and the mascot of India’s public sector character.

How it does not affect the poor much and why the news is fake

  1. The SBI rule to maintain minimum balance and penalty for not meeting the same does not apply to basic savings accounts or financial inclusion accounts such as PMJDY, also known as Jan Dhan accounts. There is no question that the rule is going to impact the the poor and those who are newly introduced to the banking through the Jan Dhan accounts Hence, the argument that the move of maintaining Minimum Balance will deter a large section of basic banking customers from putting their money in the bank doesn’t hold much truth.
  2. The SBI Bank has every right, just like other banks to operate in the same playing field competing with its private, foreign sector rivals. From long time, this state-run banks have been treated as extended division of the governments, past and present, and have been forced to operate like a charitable organization and not like professionally run, commercially institutions unlike its other Indian aggressive private sector competitors. This made it run much lower in expectation that is expected from a Bank. This situation needs to change for the survival of the banking sector and the same rules should apply to all.
  3. The Private sector Banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank has been running from a long time with a min balance/penalty on non-compliance requirement for long and in a much higher scale. According to the ICICI Bank website, the bank has fixed the minimum balance of Rs 10,000 in metro and urban locations, Rs 5,000 at semi-urban locations and at rural locations it is Rs 2,000. The bank charges hefty amount if Rs 750 per quarter for non-maintenance of minimum monthly average balance.

HDFC Bank website have similar penalty and fines, it says to maintain a minimum balance requirement for metro branches at Rs 10,000, Rs 5,000 at semi urban branches and rural branches Rs 2,500/- or fixed deposit (FD) of Rs 10,000 for minimum 1 year 1 day period. Penalties range from Rs 150 to Rs 600.

Now, look at foreign banks. What about foreign banks?

As per HSBC website, The minimum average quarterly balance required to be maintained for HSBC Savings Account is much higher, it is Rs 150,000. The bank will impose a quarterly service charge of 0.7 percent (plus applicable taxes) for those failing short to this. As per the Citibank, a minimum balance requirement for certain category  accounts is as high as Rs 1,00,000.

The idea of making these arguments is not to justify and support State Bank of India (SBI) rules but to make the point that SBI, just like all other banks has the rights to operate in a level playing field like its rivals, which is critical for its healthy survival.

Evaluating all this and also there is no data released yet by the SBI to claim to this viral message. Hence we keep this news in fake category.