The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed, by an order dated 13 December 2021, a monetary penalty of ₹30 Lakh (Rupees Thirty Lakh only) on ICICI Bank Ltd. (the bank) for non-compliance with certain directions issued by RBI on ‘Levy of penal charges on non-maintenance of minimum balances in savings bank accounts’ dated 20 November 2014. This penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47A(1)(c) read with section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act).
This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation of the bank was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as on 31 March 2019, and the examination of the Risk Assessment Report, Inspection Report and all related correspondence pertaining to the same, revealed, inter-alia, non-compliance with the aforesaid directions issued by RBI to the extent the bank levied charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance in saving accounts, which were not directly proportionate to the extent of the shortfall observed. In furtherance to the same, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for failure to comply with the said directions, as stated therein.
After considering the bank’s reply to the notice, oral submissions made in the personal hearing and examination of additional submissions made by it, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charge of non-compliance with RBI directions was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.