SBI to Reduce Fines on the savings account

State Bank of India has retained the amount that has to be maintained as average monthly balance

Country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has substantially reduced charges for non-maintenance of average monthly balance (AMB) in savings accounts, which would benefit 25 crore banks' customers, an official statement said here on Tuesday.

For customers in metro and urban areas, applicable charges for not maintaining Rs3,000, which is the AMB, have been brought down to Rs10-15 from Rs30-50 now.

The move will benefit 25 crore customers of the bank. In the big cities, account holders have to keep at least 5,000 rupees, account holders in urban areas, 3,000 rupees, account holders in small towns and Rs. 1,000 in rural areas to keep a minimum amount of 1,000 rupees.

SBI restored AMB charges last April after a gap of six years. The sum was more than SBI's July-September quarter net benefit of Rs 1,581.55 crore and nearly 50% of the Rs 3,586 crore it earned as net benefit April-September.

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P.K. Gupta, managing director, retail and digital banking at SBI, said the bank has reduced the charges on the basis of customer feedback.

In October 2017, SBI had cut service charges for those people who do not maintain their monthly average balance; they reduced the charges by a huge 20-50%. The bank also clarified that customer always has the option of converting the regular savings bank account to Basic Savings Bank Account (BSBD account), free of charge, in case he desires to avail basic savings bank facilities without being subject to maintenance of AMB. Besides pensioner/minors/social security benefit holders accounts were already exempted. Currently, the charges are in the range of Rs20-40. The bank rejects Jan Dhan accounts, essential funds bank stores (BSBD) accounts, retired people, recipients of social advantages from the legislature and records of minors from the MAB necessity.

SBI had earlier defended the charging of penalties, saying that it was meagre compared to services it provided. The bank had subsequently lowered the AMB, following criticism from the customers.

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