The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has recovered ₹278.66 crore as penalty in the financial year 2018-19 from the poor account holders for not maintaining the minimum balance.
This was revealed after an RTI activist in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch district, Chandrashekhar Gaur sought information from the PNB on the amount recovered from the account holders in the last two financial years for not maintaining a minimum balance in savings and current account.
This amount has been recovered from about 1 crore 27 lakh customers across the country.
According to a PNB data, the penalty amount of ₹278.66 crore is 32 per cent more than the amount recovered in the last financial year (2017-18).
The bank has recovered a total of ₹226.36 crore from ₹1,22,53,756 savings accounts and ₹52.30 crore from fine accounts of ₹5,37,692 current accounts during the financial year 2018-19.
Gaur said: "The penalty charged by a bank for not keeping the minimum amount in the accounts is a penalty on poverty.
"It should be reviewed immediately in the larger public interest and recovery of all such penalty charges should be stopped with immediate effect," he added.