The State Bank of India has harnessed gold deposits of 3, 650 kg through its gold deposit scheme which it started since 1st March 2009, as quoted by a senior bank official. Of the total amount collected, 800 kg came from branches in Gujarat.
"As on March 1, 800 kg of gold had been deposited in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara branches in Gujarat, which is highest in the country," the official said.
The scheme demands that customers have to deposit at least 500 gm of gold with a lock in period of 3-5 years. The gold deposited by customers is melted and transformed in to pure gold bars. Interest received on three year deposits is 1%, 1.25% for four years and 1.5% for five years. The gold bars are sold in open market.
The period when Gujarat deposited 800 kg gold, Maharashtra deposited 770 kg of gold Kerala reaped 490 kg and 359 kg was garnered by Tamil Nadu.
"The scheme has not fared well in Madhya Pradesh, which stood last in the country with only 77 kg of gold deposits," the official said. The official further said that the scheme had earlier been launched in November 1999, but had to be taken out of practice due to the poor response it received.
"The scheme was re-launched last year as gold prices started climbing. This scheme is aimed at utilizing the gold deposits lying unused in the lockers of big trusts and individual customers," he said.
Target customers for this scheme turned out to be temples like Siddhi Vinayak, Tirupati, Dwarkadhish and Somnath, which receive huge volumes of gold as gifts that usually lie unused. "We have recently launched this scheme in Bhavnagar branch also because of the overall good response. If the response remains good, the bank might launch this scheme in other cities also," the official said.