Mumbai: Facing backlash from its customers, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to substantially reduce charges for non-maintenance of average minimum balance in savings account.
The charges for non-maintenance of average minimum balance (AMB) for customers in metro and urban centres have been reduced from a maximum of Rs 50 per month plus GST to Rs 15 per month plus GST.
Similarly for semi-urban and rural centres the charges have been reduced from Rs 40 per cent plus GST to Rs 12 per month and Rs 10 per month plus GST respectively. “We have reduced these charges taking into account the feedback and sentiments of our customers,” said P.K. Gupta, MD, retail & digital banking, SBI adding that the move would benefit 25 crore customers.
The bank also clarified that customers always have the option of converting the regular savings bank account to Basic Savings Bank Account (BSBD account), free of charge, in case they desires to avail basic savings bank facilities without being subject to maintenance of AMB.
Between April 1 and November 2017, SBI had collected Rs 1,771 crore as penalty from customers who had failed to maintain the average monthly balance in their accounts. This was more than its September quarter profit of Rs 1,581.55 crore.
Earlier, the bank had reduced the monthly average balance (MAB) requirement to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 in metro cities.
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.
Last April, SBI had re-introduced the penal charges on non-maintenance of average monthly balance after a gap of five years. Later in October, it had revised down the charges.
“Due to provisions of penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance, the bank has closed 41.16 lakh savings bank accounts between April 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018,” the bank replied to an RTI query filed by Chandra Shekhar Gaud.
Even though the reply was furnished by the state-run lender on February 28, 2018, the bank today steeply reduced the penal charges on not maintaining the minimum balance.
The reply was to a specific query on the number of accounts being closed after introduction of charges on non- maintenance of minimum balance from April 1, 2017....