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Banks to levy hefty charges if minimum balance is not maintained
If minimum balance is not maintained, banks will charge you Rs 600 fine and more.

State Bank of India has announced that it will charge the customers a fine of Rs 600 in case they fail to maintain the monthly average balance (MAB) their bank accounts.

In addition, customers will be charged hefty fines as well.

The penalties which have been kept slab-wise are on the basis of the MAB. Lower the MAB, higher the penalty.

In case of HDFC Bank, customers residing in metro cities whose MAB ranges between zero and Rs 2,500; the penalty will be Rs 600 per month. For MAB between Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000; the penalty will be Rs 450 plus taxes and cess. And if the MAB falls between Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500; then the penalty will be Rs 300, and if the MAB is between Rs 7,500 but less than Rs 10,000, the monthly penalty will be Rs 150.

In rural areas, the minimum quarterly balance (MQB) of HDFC Bank customers is Rs 2,500. Should the quarterly balance falls between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500 the penalty is Rs 270 and in case the AQB is less than Rs 1,000 the penalty is Rs 400.

DNA quoted Rajnish Kumar, managing director, State Bank of India (SBI), as saying, "We open about four crore accounts annually and there is a cost of maintaining these accounts. Many accounts are also superfluous, means one person opening multiple accounts without transacting. So these charges are for discouraging these practices and forcing people to maintain a minimum saving in their account. Of the 31 crore savings bank accounts, the bank has 10 crore financial inclusion and Jan Dhan accounts where the charges are not applicable."

In SBI, MAB for metro customers is Rs 5,000 and if not maintained, the penalty can range between Rs 50 and Rs 100, while the same for urban customers is Rs 3,000 and penalty can range from Rs 40 to Rs 80.

For semi-urban customers, the MAB is Rs 2,000 and if it is not maintained, penalties range from Rs 25 to Rs 75. While as for rural customers of the bank, the MAB is Rs 1,000 and the penalties are between Rs 20 to Rs 50.

Most of the banks have said that they will inform the customers regarding their non-maintenance of MAB. But will the move be seen as progressive or regressive, remains to be seen.

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