SBI Customers Brace For Fees Related To 10-Fold Hike In Minimum Balance

NEW DELHI – The State Bank of India has decided to increase nearly 10 times the minimum balance limit required to maintain a savings account from April 1, a move that will affect 31 crore depositors, including pensioners and students.

The requirement for monthly average balance has been increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 500 for six metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates (merging with it on April 1) will have to maintain the monthly balance, else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs 20 (rural branches) to Rs 100 in (metro cities).

As of now, the monthly average balance for a savings bank account is Rs 500 without the facility of a cheque book and Rs 1,000 with it.

SBI has now decided to fix separate monthly average balance requirement for metro, urban, semi-urban and rural areas from April 1.

For metro branches, the requirement will be Rs 5,000 and the penalty for not maintaining it will be between Rs 50 and Rs 100. For urban and semi-urban branches, the requirement has been set at Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively. In case of rural branches, the minimum balance has been fixed at Rs 1,000. Any breach will attract a penalty ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 50.

Five associates banks of the SBI — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad — will merge with the parent on April 1.

With the merger, SBI is expected to become a lender of global proportions with an asset base of Rs 37 lakh crore or more than $555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.

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