SBI move to hike minimum balance for savings account to hit 31 crore people

Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates will have to maintain the monthly minimum balance


Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates will have to maintain the monthly balance or else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs20 to Rs100. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint.
Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates will have to maintain the monthly balance or else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs20 to Rs100. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint.

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to increase manifold the minimum balance required for maintaining savings account from 1 April, hitting 31 crore depositors including pensioners and students. The monthly average balance (MAB) requirement has been increased to as high as Rs5,000 for branches in six metros.

Savings bank account holders of SBI and its five associates (merging with it on 1 April) will have to maintain the monthly balance or else they will invite a penalty ranging from Rs20 (rural branches) to Rs100 in (metro cities). SBI has 31 crore savings bank accounts. As of now, MAB for a savings bank account is Rs 500 without facility of cheque book and Rs1,000 with cheque book across the country.

India’s largest bank has now decided to fix separate MABs for ‘metro’, ‘urban’, ‘semi-urban’ and ‘rural’ areas from the beginning of next financial year. The benchmark for MAB and penalties are likely to be followed by other public sector banks.

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MAB for metro branches will be Rs5,000 and penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance will be between Rs50 and Rs100. For urban and semi-urban branches, the MAB has been fixed at Rs3,000 and Rs2,000 respectively. In case of rural branches, the minimum balance has been fixed at Rs1,000.

Breach of MAB will attract a penalty ranging between Rs20 and Rs50. Five associates banks of SBI -- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH)— will merge with the parent on 1 April.

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With the merger of all the five associates, SBI is expected to become a lender of global proportions with an asset base of Rs37 trillion (Rs37 lakh crore) or over $555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.

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