State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday relaxed monthly balance rules applicable to savings bank accounts in a bid to promote financial inclusion. In a press release, the country's largest bank by assets said it had waived off the average monthly balance requirement on all types of savings accounts, a move that will impact 44.51 crore savings accounts. State Bank of India customers holding any type of savings account with the lender will now be able to "enjoy the zero balance facility", it said. Simply put, SBI customers keeping nil funds (or zero balance) in any type of savings account with the bank will not have to bear any penalty charges.
Until now, SBI's "average monthly balance" rules defined a certain amount of minimum balance that customers needed to maintain in its savings accounts, a requirement which led to penalty charges in case of non-compliance.
The customers were required to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 3,000 in metro branches, and Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 in semi-urban and rural branches respectively. SBI classifies its branches into four categories on the basis of their location: metro, urban, semi-urban and rural.
Penalty Charges That You Were Paying For Insufficient Balance Until Now
|Metro and urban branch (required MAB Rs 3,000)||Charges|
|Shortfall <= 50%||Rs. 10 + GST|
|Shortfall > 50-75%||Rs. 12 + GST|
|Shortfall > 75%||Rs. 15 + GST|
|Semi-urban branch (required MAB Rs 2,000)|
|Shortfall <= 50%||Rs 7.50 + GST|
|Shortfall > 50-75%||Rs 10 + GST|
|Shortfall > 75%||Rs.12 + GST|
|Rural (required MAB Rs 1,000)|
|Shortfall <= 50%||Rs 5 + GST|
|Shortfall > 50-75%||Rs. 7.50 + GST|
|Shortfall > 75%||Rs 10 + GST|
Failure to comply with the average monthly balance requirement - in case the average maintained by the customer in the bank account fell short of the required value - led to a penalty ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 15 (excluding taxes).
The monthly average balance is the average of end-of-day balances in the savings account in a month.
Now, No Balance Insufficient In SBI Savings Accounts
With the AMB requirement now scrapped, SBI customers will be able to operate their savings accounts with any balance, and keeping zero balance will not attract any penalty for the account holder.
SBI Savings Account Interest Rate
State Bank of India also rationalised the interest rate applicable to savings bank deposits to a flat 3 per cent. Until now, SBI paid interest at the rate of 3 per cent against savings account balances above Rs 1 lakh, and 3.25 per cent against those with balances up to Rs 1 lakh.
Separately, SBI also scrapped SMS charges which were levied on a quarterly basis, according to the statement.