Fact Check: SBI yet to return charges collected from PMJDY accountholders

Bhubaneswar: Hours after reports emerged that the State Bank of India (SBI) is yet to return Rs 164 crore undue fee charged on accountholders of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) towards digital payments, the bank today made a clarification in this regard.

The report prepared by IIT-Mumbai stated SBI has returned just about Rs 90 crore, thereby withholding at least Rs 164 crore with itself during April 2017 and December 2019.

“There has been a news article that SBI is not refunding charges recovered from the customers on digital transactions. We confirm that Bank is in full compliance with the Government and regulatory directives in this regard,” SBI said in a statement.

“SBI has been at the forefront of the Financial Inclusion (FI) initiative of the Government of India with a FI customer base of 13.76 crore. The services to these customers are provided by a strong network of 70,193 Bank Mitras. In the Bank Mitra or Business Correspondent channel, banking and micro insurance services are provided to the customers in an assisted mode in rural and semi urban areas,” it said.

“SBI has made all digital transactions free to the FI customers w.e.f. 01.01.2020. Further, up to four cash withdrawals in a month are free. Fully free digital transactions and four free cash withdrawals are enabling these customers to meet all their banking requirements.”

The IIT-Mumbai stated SBI had collected over Rs 254 crore towards at least 14 crore UPI/ RuPay transactions by charging Rs 17.70 per transactions on Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account customers under PMJDY.

The report added since June 1, 2017, SBI charged Rs 17.70 for every debit transaction beyond four a month.

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