New SBI charges and rules: April 2017

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April 1, 2017, will see the State Bank of India (SBI) introduce some new charges and update some existing ones – in line with private sector banks like ICICI and HDFC which plan to charge up to Rs.150 for every cash transaction, and in contrast to the push for digitization.

Five years ago, SBI had abolished its penalty charged for non-maintenance of minimum balance of funds in accounts. Now, however, SBI plans to reintroduce this penalty charge in addition to introducing charges for all cash transactions over a particular limit.

From April 1, 2017, SBI will levy the following charges under their respective heads and introduce these rules:

  1. Rs.50 will be charged per deposit after the first 3 cash deposits into a savings bank account in a particular month.
  2. Cash transaction charges can be as high as Rs.20,000 for current account holders.
  3. Rs.100 + applicable taxes will be charged to those accounts which do not maintain the minimum Monthly Average Balance (MAB).
  4. If the account balance falls below 75% of the MAB, a charge of Rs.100 + applicable taxes will be levied.
  5. If the account balance falls below 50% of the MAB, a charge of Rs.50 + applicable taxes will be levied.
  6. Rs.10 per cash withdrawal from SBI ATMs after 5 free withdrawals from SBI ATMs.
  7. Rs.20 per cash withdrawal from non-SBI ATMs after 3 free withdrawals from non-SBI ATMs.
  8. No withdrawal charges from SBI ATMs if the account holder maintains a minimum of Rs.25,000 as balance in their account.
  9. No withdrawal charges from non-SBI ATMs if the account holder maintains a minimum of Rs.1 lakh as balance in their account.
  10. The feature of SMS alerts will be charged to the customer at Rs.15 per quarter.
  11. No UPI/USSD transaction charges for amounts up to Rs.1,000.
  12. MAB penalties and charges depend on the location of the nearest bank branch.

At a time when SBI seems set to cash in on offering the ‘service’ of handling the public’s money, the larger public finds many of these charges unfair and unjust – asking why they must be charged for accessing their own money in a growing cashless economy that’s pushing digitization. Polls suggest that offering incentives rather than penalties for digitizing one’s currency is the need of the hour.

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