Sunday, 23 September, 2018

SBI reviewing minimum balance requirement, to make announcement soon

SBI collected Rs 1771 crore from non-compliance of minimum balance account norm, says report SBI reviewing minimum balance requirement, to make announcement soon
Steve Townsend | 08 January, 2018, 02:13

In rural areas, the monthly average balance requirement has been kept at Rs 1,000.

The bank collected Rs1,771.67 crore from customers on account of non-maintenance of minimum average balance between April and November 2017, according to finance ministry's answer in Lok Sabha on 29 December.

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

According to ET sources, the bank is looking at bringing down the MAB to Rs 1,000 but is yet to take a call.

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The charges collected by SBI for non-maintenance of minimum balance exceeds the bank's July-September quarter net profit of Rs 1,581.55 crore. The bank has apparently been coming to this decision as it faced huge public backlash for profiting with fines.

The development comes after the finance ministry flagged off the issue of profits public sector banks made by charging penalty for non-maintenance of monthly minimum balance. From April 1, 2017, the bank had reintroduced the monthly average balance (MAB) charges after a gap of five years. The biggest lender had also revised the penalties that account holders are supposed to pay for failing to maintain the stipulated balance in their savings accounts.

SBI has around 420 million savings bank accounts, of which around 130 million are exempted from MAB requirement. Later, as it received flak from customers, it reduced the charges with effect from October 1. Customers fail to maintain the required minimum balance will have to bear a penalty which leads to deduct a specific amount up to Rs. 100 plus service tax from the customer's account. Exempted accounts are those related to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, basic savings bank deposit account, and pensioners and minor accounts, among others. Customers will have to pay GST over and above the fine they have incurred. Accordingly, charges for semi-urban and rural centres were in the range of Rs20-40 and for urban and metro centres Rs30-50.

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