After a gap of five years, State Bank of India has decided to reintroduce penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in accounts from April 1, and revised charges on other services, including ATMs.
The country’s largest bank will permit savings bank account holders to deposit cash three times a month free of charges and levy Rs 50 plus service tax on every transaction beyond that.
In case of current account, the levy could go as high as Rs 20,000.
As per the list of revised charges of SBI, failure to maintain Monthly Average Balance (MAB) in accounts will attract penalty of up to Rs 100 plus service tax.
In metropolitan areas, there will be a charge of Rs 100 plus service tax, if the balance falls below 75 per cent of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall is 50 per cent or less of the MAB, then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus service tax.
The charges and MAB varies according to the location of bank. It is minimum in case of rural branches.
A senior SBI official said the bank had suspended levying charges on breach of minimum balance requirements in 2012 to acquire new customers.
The charges are now being reintroduced from April 1.
The Reserve Bank has permitted banks to levy charges for breaching minimum balance limit.
Withdrawal of cash from ATMs will attract a charge of up to Rs 20 if the number of transactions exceeds three from other bank’s ATMs in a month and Rs 10 for more than five withdrawals from SBI ATMs.
However, SBI will not levy any charge on withdrawals from its own ATMs if the balance exceeds Rs 25,000. In case of other banks’ ATM there will be no charge if the balance exceeds Rs 1 lakh.
SBI will charge Rs 15 for SMS alerts per quarter from debit card holders who maintain average quarterly balance of up to Rs 25,000 during the three months period.
There will be no charge for UPI/ USSD transactions of up to Rs 1000.
This has come after some banks, including HDFC Bank, began charging a minimum amount of Rs 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.
The new charges would apply to savings as well as salary accounts effective from today, leading private sector player HDFC Bank said in a circular.
The bank would also cap the third party cash transactions at Rs 25,000 per day, while cash handling charges would be withdrawn effective today, the circular added.
In case of several banks, including ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, these charges came into effect early in January and are same as they were before the demonetisation move announced on November 8, while there is an increase in such fees in case of some others, including HDFC Bank, today onwards.
These charges are for cash transactions in the branches, and not through ATMs.
The move was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.
For the basic no-frills accounts, maximum four cash withdrawals would continue to remain free and there would be no fees for cash deposits.
According to details on ICICI Bank website, there will be no charge for first four transactions a month at branches in home city while Rs 5 per thousand rupees would be charged thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150 in the same month.
The third party limit would be Rs 50,000 per day.
For non-home branches, ICICI Bank would not charge anything for first cash withdrawal of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand rupees thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs 150.
For anywhere cash deposit, ICICI Bank would charge Rs 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of 150) at branches, while deposit at Cash Acceptance Machine would be free of charge for first cash deposit of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand thereafter.
ATM intercharge charges have also been re-introduced. Under the new rules, individuals will have to pay fees even to check balance using while using ATMs
At Axis Bank, the first five transactions or Rs 10 lakh of cash deposits or withdrawals would be free and charged at Rs 5 per thousand rupees or Rs 150, whichever is higher.
It could not be ascertained whether the public sector banks have also begun imposing such charges.
When contacted, a senior official said there has been no directive from the government to the banks regarding levy of such charges.
(With PTI inputs)