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State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda grab the biggest pie of Jan Dhan outstanding

KOLKATA: State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda have benefited the most as the outstanding balance in the Jan Dhan accounts held by banks surged 10% since April, even as the government celebrated the sixth year of the implementation of one of the largest financial inclusion schemes in the world.

SBI has seen a 12.2% rise in outstanding Jan Dhan balance in the first four-and-a-half months, while BoB’s outstanding rose 12.9% in the same period in such accounts, more than the industry average. SBI’s total deposits growth was a muted 5.5% in the April-June period, while BoB witnessed a 1.2% fall.

To put things into perspective, Jan Dhan outstanding grew much faster in the first quarter, then fell from its peak which was seen on June 10, by when the government’s fund transfer under Covid assistance package was almost over.

“We are very careful in pricing our deposits and making sure that the deposit growth is closely aligned to the advances growth,” BoB chief executive Sanjiv Chadha had told analysts earlier in the month after the bank’s first quarter results were announced. It’s deposit grew 4.4% annually, compared with SBI’s 16%.

Deposits in banks’ Jan Dhan accounts boosted the low-cost current and savings accounts (CASA) share. Higher CASA translates into lower cost of funds and helps profitability improve.

These two banks along with Punjab National Bank have also grabbed nearly half of the Jan Dhan deposits pie. SBI has mobilised Rs 33,217 crore as of August 19 with BoB’s Rs 15,648 crore, while PNB’s balance in these accounts fell to Rs 14,682 crore from April’s level of Rs 17,803 crore, according to data released by the department of financial services. It releases data every Wednesday.

Total banking sector outstanding Jan Dhan deposits jumped to Rs 1.31 lakh crore at the end of August 19 from Rs 1.20 crore at the beginning of the fiscal. This reflects higher farm income following a good Rabi harvest as well as a fall in discretionary spending amid Coronavirus pandemic, senior bankers tracking the rural economy said.

Banks have opened as many as 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts in half-a-decade, with women accounting for more than half of these.

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