Jan-Dhan bank accounts—part of the government’s drive to provide banking access to the unbanked and the poor—have seen a spike in deposits since the currency reset on 8 November. Data for the two weeks since 8 November shows that while the week-on-week increase in the number of such bank accounts was 0.3% and 0.4%—in line with the last three months—there was a surge in the account balance of all three categories of banks: public sector banks (PSBs), regional rural banks (RRBs) and private banks.
The account balance surged 39-49% in the first week and 11-23% in the second. In the 11 weeks prior to 8 November, the highest week-on-week change in account balance was 1.6% (Graph 1).
PSBs account for nearly 80% of Jan-Dhan accounts and account balance. Next come RRBs, with about 17%, and then private banks. But RRBs, which are sponsored by PSBs, are showing the greatest deviation from the usual. The average account balance of RRBs has crossed that of PSBs (Graph 2).
And, the list of top 10 banks to record the highest increases in average balance between 9 and 23 November contains eight RRBs (Graph 3).