This Article is From Jul 26, 2018

Minimum Balance Requirements, Fines: SBI Vs HDFC Bank Vs ICICI Bank

SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank levy a penalty of Rs 5-Rs 600 (plus applicable taxes) for insufficient average monthly balance in a savings account.

Minimum Balance Requirements, Fines: SBI Vs HDFC Bank Vs ICICI Bank

Minimum balance: Top banks charge a penalty amount from customers failing to maintain the required MAB

Top banks today require their customers to maintain a certain minimum average balance in their savings accounts. Customers failing to maintain this minimum balance average, also known as monthly average balance or MAB, are charged a penalty amount. These penalty charges levied by  lenders on their customers for keeping insufficient bank balance in their account depends on multiple factors, such as the location of bank branch and the degree of shortfall, meaning how far the actual bank balance is from the required average.

BankAverage minimum balance required (In Rs)
Metro branchSemi-urban branchUrban branchRural branch
State Bank of India (SBI)3,000 per month2,000 per month3,000 per month1,000 per month
ICICI Bank10,000 per month5,000 per month10,000 per month2,000 per month
HDFC Bank10,000 per month5,000 per month10,000 per month2,500 per quarter

Here's a comparison of different minimum balance requirements as stated by top banks SBI (State Bank of India), HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank:

SBI

State Bank of India requires its savings bank account customers to maintain an average monthly balance in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 depending on where the branch is located. Top banks such as SBI have categorized their branches into four types: urban, rural, semi-urban and metro. If the customer holds a savings bank account at an SBI branch located in a metropolitan city, he or she is required to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3,000 and above. Similarly, in semi-urban and rural SBI branches, savings bank account holders are required to maintain a minimum balance - or average monthly balance - of Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

HDFC Bank

Individuals holding a regular savings account with HDFC Bank are required to maintain a minimum average balance of Rs.10,000 in metro and urban branches. In semi-urban branches, the required minimum average balance in a month is Rs 5,000. In rural branches, the bank requires its savings account customers to either maintain an average quarterly balance of Rs 2,500 or keep a fixed deposit (FD) of Rs 10,000 for a tenure of 1 year 1 day and above to avoid any penalty, according to HDFC Bank's website - hdfcbank.com.

ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank requires its savings account customers to maintain a minimum monthly average balance or MAB of Rs 10,000 in metro and urban locations, Rs 5,000 in semi-urban locations and Rs 2,000 in rural locations. ICICI Bank also has an additional category of 'Gramin' branches, where the savings bank account holders are required to maintain a bank balance of Rs 1,000 every month, according to the bank's website - icicibank.com.

And now, the charges. The three top banks - state-run SBI, the largest bank in the country, and private sector banking majors ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank - levy a penalty ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 600 (plus applicable taxes) for insufficient average monthly balance in a savings bank account. These charges are applicable to a regular savings bank account, which means a non-zero balance account, or a bank account which cannot be operated with a nil balance.

Here are the various charges levied by top banks on customers who fail to maintain the prescribed average monthly balance - or minimum balance:

SBI

Branch typeShortfallCharges for non-maintenance of required average monthly balance
Metro & Urban< = 50%Rs. 10/- +GST
> 50 – 75%Rs. 12/- +GST
> 75%Rs. 15/- +GST
Semi-Urban< = 50%Rs 7.50 +GST
> 50 – 75%Rs 10.00 +GST
> 75%Rs.12.00+GST
Rural< = 50%Rs 5.00 +GST
> 50 – 75%Rs. 7.50 +GST
> 75%Rs 10.00 +GST
(Source: sbi.co.in)

SBI levies a penalty of Rs 10-15 on its savings account customers failing to maintain the required average monthly balance in a metro or urban branch. The charges exclude GST and are applicable according to three types of shortfall.

HDFC Bank

Charges for non-maintenance of required minimum average balance
AMB Slabs (In Rs)AQB Slabs (in Rs.)Metro & UrbanSemi UrbanRural
>=7,500 to < 10,000 Rs. 150NA 
>=5,000 to < 7,500 Rs. 300NA 
>=2,500 to < 5,000 Rs. 450Rs. 150 
0 to < 2,500 Rs. 600Rs. 300 
 >= 1000 < 2,500  Rs. 270
 0 - <1000  Rs. 450
(Source: hdfcbank.com)

HDFC Bank levies a penalty in the range of Rs 150-600 per month from customers failing to maintain the required average minimum balance in a regular savings account located in its metro, urban and semi-urban branches.

ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank charges a penalty amount equal to Rs 100 plus 5 per cent of the shortfall in the required minimum monthly average balance in regular savings accounts held in its metro, urban, semi-urban or rural locations. For bank accounts held in a Gramin branch, penalty charges equal to 5 per cent of the shortfall in the required MAB are applicable, according to ICICI Bank's website - icicibank.com.

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