The Banks have been levying bank charges for providing various services like ATM card, chequebook, annual statement, and transactions. These charges directly affect the poorest sections of society. In August 2018, the Union Minister of State in Finance, Shiv Pratap Shukla reported in Lok Sabha that Rs 4,990 crore were collected by 21 public sector banks and three leading private banks from customers for non-maintenance of monthly average balance in savings accounts in the financial year 2017-18. The State Bank of India, being the largest among all public sector banks and having more deposits from working class people than any other bank, has collected a whopping Rs 2,434 crore, almost half of what all the other banks collected. Moreover, if we put together the data for the last four years, then the bank charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance turn out to be a whopping amount of Rs 11,500 crore.
Thomas Franco, Former General Secretary of the All India Bank Officers Confederation, explains these bank charges in the context of the rising NPAs and their impact on the poor. He argues that the bank charges needs to be reviewed immediately.