The title, in fact, has been derived from an actual scenario where SBI has sent a notice to pensioner to maintain the minimum balance of Rs.5000/- month. This requirement has come into effect from April 2017.

 

While it is a bank’s prerogative to frame and enforce its regulations, it is a matter to deliberate whether it is judicious on part of nationalized banks to make such rules mandatory without considering the account category of its deposit holders. The case in question, refers to a widowed pensioner who is on a pension amount of Rs.1000/- per month since 15 years after her husband died, at the Versova branch of the bank. The account itself is classified and titled as a pension account. To make it mandatory for her to maintain a minimum balance of Rs.5000/- in the said account, failing which she will have to bear charges, would definitely put an undue burden on her to maintain and avail the account.

 

This and many such rules being framed, from time to time, makes one wonder if there are any careful deliberations before passing them on. How and why are the affected parties expected to fulfill conditions without any avenues open to them?

 

Especially when our Prime Minister is proposing the opening of bank accounts for each citizen of India, like Jandhan accounts and other schemes, to increase financial inclusion whereas such and similar actions of the bank end up discouraging them and are not justified under the law of Natural justice.

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