Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

SBI slashes minimum balance non-maintenance fines by up to 75%

SBI slashes minimum balance non-maintenance fines by up to 75%

Shifting to BSBD account is even more convenient and flexible, because there is no charges levied by SBI on them.

SBI collected Rs1,771.67 crore from customers on account of non-maintenance of AMB between April and November 2017, according to the finance ministry's answer in Lok Sabha on 29 December.

The bank today reduced the charges for non-maintenance of AMB in the metros and urban centres from a maximum of Rs 50 per month plus taxes at 18 percent to Rs 15 a month and taxes. For Semi-Urban and Rural centres the charges have been reduced from Rs 40 per month plus GST to Rs 12 per month and Rs 10 per month plus GST respectively. The SBI, India's largest PSU bank, has reportedly said that the decision of slashing AMB was taken keeping in view the feedback from various stakeholders.

For instance, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have a minimum monthly average balance requirement of Rs 10,000 for a regular savings accounts in the metros and urban locations.

Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, basic savings bank deposits accounts (BSBD), pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from the government and accounts of minors are exempted from complying with the minimum balance requirement.

After a revision previous year, customers from urban centres are required to maintain a balance of Rs 3,000, while it is Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 for semi-urban and rural centres respectively. These revised charges will be effective in India from 1st April 2018. Last year, the SBI Bank issued a statement saying the penalty would be penalized if deposit amount was lower on April 1.

"Bank has always focused on keeping the interests of its customers first and this is one of our many efforts towards fulfilling customer expectations". With SBI taking this step, it can be expected that other banks would follow too.

While levying of charges by public sector banks, for not maintaining minimum balances, has been in the news; it is still very low in comparison to that imposed by private sector banks. The bank had subsequently lowered the AMB, following criticism from the customers.

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