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SBI Cuts Charges For Not Maintaining Minimum Balance In Savings Accounts

India March 13(IM): State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday lowered its charges for non-maintenance of average minimum balance in its savings accounts by up to 75 per cent. SBI currently charges a penalty for non-compliance with its average monthly balance rules depending on the type of branch and degree of shortfall. India's largest bank SBI said the revised charges will take effect from April 1, 2018 and the move will benefit 25 crore customers. The minimum balance charges were reduced "keeping in view the feedback from various stakeholders", SBI said in a press release.From April 1, 2018, SBI said it will charge a maximum of Rs. 15 plus GST for a month for non-maintenance of average monthly balance (AMB) in a savings bank account held in its metro and urban branches. SBI offers bank accounts in four categories of branches - metro, urban, semi-urban and rural.For savings bank accounts held in its semi-urban and rural branches, SBI has reduced the charges from a maximum of Rs. 40 per month plus GST to a maximum of Rs. 12 and Rs. 10 plus GST, respectively, the bank said in its statement.Previously, SBI charged ranging from Rs. 20 to Rs. 50 plus GST for non-maintenance of the minimum required balance in a savings bank account in a month."We have reduced these charges taking into account the feedbacks and sentiments of our customers. Bank has always focused on keeping the interests of its customers first and this is one of our many efforts towards fulfilling customer expectations," said P K Gupta, MD-retail and digital banking at SBI."Bank also offers its customers to shift from regular savings bank account to BSBD account on which no charges are levied," Mr Gupta added. SBI's Basic Savings Bank Deposit accounts or BSBD is exempt from the minimum balance rules.SBI also said its customers have the option of converting a regular savings account held with the bank to a basic savings bank (BSBD) account free of charge "in case he desires to avail basic savings bank facilities without being subject to maintenance of AMB".Earlier, the country's largest lender invited criticism for collecting Rs. 1,771 crore between April-November 2017 as charges from customers who failed to maintain monthly average balance in their accounts. This amount was even higher than what SBI earned as net profit in September quarter - Rs. 1,581.55 crore.SBI has a network of 22,900 branches and 58,916 ATMs in the country.


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