State Bank of India (SBI) is reviewing the charges to be imposed on accounts that do not maintain the monthly average balance (MAB). The decision to review the charges comes after obtaining feedback from several SBI customers. While charges will be there for non-maintenance of minimum balance in savings accounts, the bank is considering some moderation for certain categories of customers such as students and senior citizens.
As per the revised charges, SBI would charge Rs.100 plus GST for accounts in metropolitan areas that fall 75% below the MAB of Rs.5,000. If the savings account minimum balance shortfall is less than 50%, it would attract a charge of Rs.50 plus GST. For rural areas, the MAB for account holders is Rs.1,000. Account holders who do not maintain this balance will have to pay penalty in the range of Rs.20 to Rs.50 (not including GST).
SBI has over 40 crore savings bank accounts all over the country. About 13 crore of these accounts come under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) schemes. These 13 crore accounts are exempted from maintaining minimum balance. However, the other 27 crore regular savings accounts will have to maintain the minimum balance in order to avoid the penalty.
Charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance in savings accounts was introduced by the bank in April 2017, after a gap of 5 years. For the first quarter of 2017, SBI has recovered a total amount of Rs.235 crore from customers who did not maintain MAB.
According to SBI managing director Rajnish Kumar, savings accounts cost a lot for the bank in terms of operational costs and investment in new technology. These additional charges will help the bank recover some costs involved in maintaining savings accounts. He added that SBI’s charges are competitive compared to other banks in the country.
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