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SBI Savings Accounts: Minimum Balance Rules, Penalty For Insufficient Balance Explained

Minimum balance requirements, charges: State Bank of India (SBI) requires customers to maintain a certain minimum balance in its savings accounts.

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SBI Savings Accounts: Minimum Balance Rules, Penalty For Insufficient Balance Explained

State Bank of India (SBI)'s basic savings bank deposit account does not require any minimum balance.

State Bank of India (SBI), the largest lender of the country, requires customers to maintain a certain minimum balance in its savings accounts, except for some like the basic savings bank deposit account. Minimum balance requirements of SBI vary according to the location of the SBI branch in which a customer opens his account. With effect from the start of this financial year, SBI had reduced penalty for non-maintenance of the average monthly balance in savings accounts, after it faced a backlash for earning a huge amount from such penalties.

Here are 10 things you should know about the minimum balance requirements and penalty charges for non-maintenance of sufficient balance in SBI savings accounts:  

1. SBI has four types of branches. These are: metro, rural, urban and semi-urban. The minimum balance requirements and charges for insufficient balance vary according to the branch type.

2. In metro and urban SBI branches, customers are required to maintain an average monthly balance (AMB) of Rs 3,000. In semi-urban SBI branches, customers have to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 2,000. In rural SBI branches, customers have to maintain an average monthly balance of Rs 1,000. The latest average monthly balance rules for savings accounts of SBI came into effect on April 1, 2018.

3. For SBI accounts in metro and urban branches: Customers who maintain a balance equal to or less than Rs 1,500 are charged Rs 10 per month plus the applicable GST (Goods and Services Tax) rate. If their average monthly balance is less than 50-75 per cent of the required monthly balance, they will have to pay Rs 12 per month plus GST. If the balance falls below 75 per cent of Rs 3,000, SBI charges a penalty of Rs 15 per month plus GST.

Metro &Urban (AMB= Rs. 3000/-Proposed Charges p.m
Shortfall < = 50%Rs. 10/- +GST
Shortfall > 50 - 75%Rs. 12/- +GST
Shortfall > 75%Rs. 15/- +GST
Semi-Urban (AMB Rs. 2000/-) 
Shortfall < = 50%Rs 7.50 +GST
Shortfall > 50 - 75%Rs 10.00 +GST
Shortfall > 75%Rs.12.00+GST
Rural (AMB) Rs 1,000/-) 
Shortfall < = 50%Rs 5.00 +GST
Shortfall > 50 - 75%Rs. 7.50 +GST
Shortfall > 75%Rs 10.00 +GST

(From SBI's corporate website - sbi.co.in)

4. For SBI accounts in semi-urban branches: If your average monthly balance falls short by up to or less than Rs 1,000 of Rs 2,000, SBI charges Rs 7.50 per month plus GST. If your monthly average balance is less than 50-75 per cent of Rs 2,000, the penalty levied is Rs 10 per month plus GST. If the minimum average balance falls short of 75 per cent, the charge is Rs 12 plus GST.

5.  For SBI accounts in rural branches: If your average monthly balance falls short by up to or less than Rs 500 of Rs 1,000, the penalty levied is Rs 20 per month plus GST. If the shortfall in average monthly balance is less than 50-75 per cent, SBI charges Rs 7.50 plus GST. If the shortfall is less than 75 per cent, SBI levies a penalty of Rs 10 plus GST.

6. SBI was criticised for earning Rs. 1,771.67 crore from customers for insufficient monthly average balance in savings accounts in eight months of 2017-18. This amount was more than SBI's September quarter profit in FY18.

7. SBI's basic savings bank deposit accounts do not require maintenance of any minimum average balance.

8. The digital savings account and insta savings account, both of which are opened via SBI YONO app, require zero minimum balance till March 31, 2019 and August 2018 respectively.

9. As on March 31, 2018, SBI has over Rs 10,137 crore savings bank accounts.

10. SBI is the largest commercial bank in India in terms of assets, deposits, profits, branches, customers and employees.

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