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13 March 2018, 10:37 | Kelvin Horton
From April 1, SBI will reduce penalty it charges for not maintaining minimum balance
In a move that will potentially benefit 25 crore of its customers, State Bank of India (SBI) announced that it will be substantially reducing charges for the non-maintenance of Average Monthly Balance (AMB) in savings account, starting April 1, 2018. The revised charges will be effective from April 1. The decision comes in view of the feedback from the various users.
The MBA requirement for semi-urban area is Rs 2,000, while for rural centres is Rs 1,000. There are different charges for Metro & Urban, semi-urban and rural villages with an additional tax of GST.
It requires savings accounts to maintain a minimum average monthly balance of Rs 3,000 in metropolitan areas, Rs 2,000 in semi-urban areas and Rs 1,000 in rural areas. K. Gupta said, "We have decreased these charges taking into account the feedback and viewpoints of our customers". This is expected to benefit 25 crore customers, ANI reported.
Interestingly, while SBI provided relief to customers in regards to AMB in savings account, it also encouraged customers for shifting towards Bank Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account.
Meanwhile, an RTI query revealed that SBI has closed as many as 41.16 lakh savings accounts between April-January in the current fiscal year for not maintaining the average monthly balance. The minimum balance in metro and urban cities are Rs.3000.
Between April and November 2017, the bank had netted a windfall of Rs 1,771.67 crore, more than its second quarter profit, from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance, according to the finance ministry data.
AMB charges are levied by private banks too. The rate of interest is same as savings bank account. In addition, students upto the age of 21 years are also exempted, it said in the release.
A customer always has the option of converting the regular savings bank account to BSBD account free of charge, in case he desires to avail basic savings bank facilities without being subject to maintenance of AMB, Gupta said. The amount was also almost half of the Rs 3,586 crore the bank earned as net profit from April to September.
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