Mangaluru: Minimum balance requirement for student bank accounts causing concern

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (MS)

Mangaluru, Sep 5: The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) rule says that there is no need to maintain minimum balance in zero balance savings bank accounts. But some nationalised banks of the city are acting as if the rule does not apply to them and this has become a burden on many students who have opened such bank accounts for educational purpose.

Accusations are being heard that fines are levied on students who do not maintain minimum balance in their savings accounts.

Educational institutions are opening bank accounts with zero balance to disburse scholarships to students. If the scholarship amount is not withdrawn within a month of the amount getting credited to the bank, the bank authorities are deducting Rs 500. Only when a SMS is sent to the mobile of student or his parents do they come to know about this hard fact. The bank employees are also accused of not responding properly when the students visit the bank to enquire about the same.

A financially poor student, who had opened a zero balance bank account when he was in high school was getting scholarship every year. He used to withdraw the same immediately for his necessary expenses. So the balance went to the level of just Rs 10. However, he was shocked that suddenly the bank had levied a fine of Rs 571 on him for not maintaining the minimum balance. Now the student is confused as he neither pay the fine nor close the account.

A victim student said, “For me and my classmates, who continue our education solely on the scholarship amount, the attitude of banks of asking us to maintain a minimum balance in our account has become a huge burden. I have decided to file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman in this connection.”

Kavitha Shetty, manager, Lead Bank, Mangaluru, said, “If a student opens a zero balance savings account, the bank cannot force him or her to maintain a minimum balance in their account. This rule applies only to general savings bank account. If any bank has asked the students against the rules of RBI, the same can be brought to my notice.”




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