On January 11, Financial Express, of the Express Group, published a story on its website with the headline: “Soon, pay for each and every banking transaction, even for passbook updates, address changes”:
This story was plugged by Financial Express’s sister paper The Indian Express, in the early hours of Friday, January 12:
The Express Group appears to have published this story and then indulged in promoting it well after the issue in question had already been exposed as fake news.
On January 10 itself, Rajeev Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, had issued a clear statement denying the reported proposal for banks ending all free services as untrue and based on rumours. He had said that the Indian Banks’ Association had clarified that what was circulating on social media and elsewhere was baseless and that there is to be blanket cessation of free services. He even shared the press release from the Indian Banks’ Association:
But clearly, there are still media outlets which do not seem to believe in checking their facts before publishing.
What’s more, Financial Express itself does not appear to be sure themselves if the reports are true or not: