SBI no Monthly Minimum Balance in Saving Account ? ICICI,HDFC,AXIX maintain it Monthly Basis ?


It happens only in India.State bank of India recently announced that no monthly minimum balance to be maintained in savings bank accounts in their branched even on quarterly basis .Further SBI Bank has directed its Branches to return (refund)charges debited in customer's account due to non maintenance of Average quarterly Balance (AQB) by customers in quarter ended on 31.03.2012.

On the reverse ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank has instructed his customer to maintain average minimum balance on Monthly basis instead of Quarterly Basis.Means Now you have to pay charges if you have failed to maintain average monthly minimum balance. As per earlier instructions if customer maintain average quarterly balance more than the limit prescribed then no charges is to debited.

Detail of SBI Minimum Balance

The State Bank of India has asked its branches to remove the minimum balance stipulation and refund charges that were collected for failure to maintain the same.The circular issued on April 25 said the bank has decided to waive the requirement of maintenance of minimum balance for all types of savings bank accounts with immediate effect.

Accordingly, no minimum balance charges would be levied every quarter henceforth, the circular addressed to chief general managers of all SBI circles said.

Branches were advised to use approved publicity material to the effect and to have them displayed prominently on branch premises. In a preceding circular sent only the day before, the bank ordered refund of charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance ‘of personal segment' customers.

This was aimed at setting right an earlier order that sought to apply charges for non-maintenance of minimum balances on all eligible accounts for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

The circular said that “the competent authority has since approved refund of minimum balance charges recovered, if any, in respect of non-maintenance of minimum balance for the quarter.” A senior official of SBI said, “We are doing this to help improve our customer base. It has been in the offing for some time.”

Banks, including SBI, fixed a higher minimum savings balance for customers in order to help compensate for services they provided. The waiver of minimum balance therefore represents a major departure from the bank's policy. The official did not elaborate on why the change was done.

Detail of ICICI BANK, HDFC Bank , Axis Bank

The top three private sector banks have tightened their minimum savings bank deposit balance norm.

Against the normal practice of maintaining minimum average quarterly balance, these banks want customers to maintain minimum balance on a monthly basis. What this means is that customers will have to keep higher balances.

The move to get customers to maintain minimum balance on a monthly basis follows the Reserve Bank of India deregulating the savings bank deposit rate in October 2011. The RBI has not stipulated any minimum balance to be maintained in savings accounts to any bank. The RBI guidelines only state that account holders should get from their banks a month's notice on any change in the minimum balance norm.

ICICI Bank's minimum monthly balance requirement is Rs 10,000 at metro and urban locations; Rs 5,000 at semi-urban branches; and Rs 2,000 in rural areas.

Similarly, the minimum monthly balance requirement at metro and urban areas is Rs 10,000 for Axis Bank and HDFC Bank. In the case of semi-urban areas, the minimum balance requirement is Rs 5,000 for the two banks. In rural areas, the minimum balance requirement is Rs 5,000 in the case of HDFC Bank and Rs 2,500 in the case of Axis Bank.

Average Minimum Balance required

Sr No
Urban area
Rural areas

These private sector lenders have also tweaked the penalty charge for non-maintenance of minimum monthly balance. Charges for HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank range between Rs 250 and Rs 350; while, those of Axis Bank are Rs 750 (metro and semi-urban) and Rs 500 (rural).

According to Ms Chitra Pandeya, Senior President, YES Bank, the lenders are targeting good quality customers through the move. When minimum balance has to be maintained on a monthly basis, customers will keep enough funds in their accounts to ensure that they do not have to pay non-maintenance charges.

Analysts say the switch to monthly maintenance of balance is a positive for banks' margins. “This will generate higher float money via the saving account balances,” a banking analyst said.

The largest PSU lender, State Bank of India, which had imposed charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance a few months ago, rolled back the move





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