SBI reviewing minimum balance requirement, to make announcement soon

Jan 06, 2018, 02:04
SBI reviewing minimum balance requirement, to make announcement soon

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) is in the process of comprehensively reviewing the requirement for minimum balance in savings account and the charges applicable for non-maintenance, and will soon make the announcement, said managing director Praveen Kumar Gupta. It is also reported in the ET report that instead of charging for non-maintenance of monthly minimum balance, the bank was planning to bring in a totally different mechanism - a quarterly minimum balance rule.

It had originally increased the minimum balance requirement to Rs 5,000 for metros and Rs 3000 for semi urban, in April previous year.

Although SBI's minimum balance requirement of Rs 3,000 is lower if compared with private banks, several public sector banks charge a lesser penalty if the customer fails to maintain a minimum balance.

Currently, customers of the bank in metro and urban areas are required to maintain an average monthly balance of ₹3,000, while the same for semi-urban areas is ₹2,000 and for rural areas, it is ₹1,000.

As a result, between April and November 2017, the bank had netted a windfall of Rs 1,771.67 crore, which is more than its second quarter profit, as penalties from customers for non-maintenance of MAB, Finance Ministry data showed.

In rural areas, the monthly average balance requirement has been kept at Rs 1,000. The amount was also almost half of the Rs 3,586 crore the bank earned as net profit from April to September.

The move follows revelations that the bank made Rs1,772 crore by imposing penalties for non-maintenance of minimum balance between April and November 2017.

However, after criticism by customers, it reduced those charges with effect from October 1. Accordingly, charges for semi-urban and rural centres were in the range of Rs20-40 and for urban and metro centres Rs30-50.

The MAB for semi-urban areas has been unchanged at Rs 2,000, but penalties for non-maintenance have been slashed for this group. If the shortfall is 50 per cent or less of the MAB, then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus GST.

Under special type of bank accounts such as Pensioners' Accounts, Social Welfare Benefits Accounts and Basic Savings Bank Accounts, SBI doesn't require the customer to maintain any specific monthly average balance.

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