SBI announces penalty for not keeping ‘minimum balance’ in accounts from April 1st.

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SBI head office mumbai. image courtesy : EMEN

In a new development, the State Bank of India announced on Friday that it’s account-holders will be penalised for not maintaining a minimum balance from April 1 onwards.

In a statement on its website, the bank had listed out charges to be made effective from April 1. For metropolitan areas, the mandatory minimum balance will be Rs 5,000. In urban, semi-urban and rural areas, the charges will be Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

SBI had done away with the policy in July 2012 to attract more customers and push customers towards low-cost deposits.

If the shortfall is between 50-75 per cent, the bank would charge Rs. 75 plus service tax and for below 50 per cent shortfall, a fee of Rs. 50 plus service tax would be levied, according to the SBI notification of new charges.

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Similarly, for rural areas, the penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance ranges from Rs. 20-50 plus service tax, it said.

The bank will use the charge to cover operational costs for maintaining saving accounts. The cost of maintain savings accounts, including the new ones opened post demonetisation and the zero-balance accounts require high cost for operations and systems.

The public sector lender would also renew from April 1, the Rs. 50 charge for people carrying out over three cash transactions at its branch within a month. This charge is applicable currently as well. However, there is no upper limit on the amount of cash transacted.

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“These cash transaction charges at branches are already existing. The same have been renewed for the next financial year from April 1. It is to deter the customers from visiting the branch but the charges are very nominal. As it is, the customer does not need to visit the branch often because we provide 10 free withdrawals in a month from ATMs,” said a SBI official.