SBI officials said that a circular was issued in October asking not to charge penalty for not keeping the minimum balance in accounts that were opened to receive pensions, scholarships and other privileges from government.
The largest Indian bank suffered a huge backlash last week when finance ministry data revealed that it netted a windfall of Rs 17.72 billion, more than its second-quarter profit, from customers for non-maintenance of monthly average balance in savings accounts in eight months of 2017-18. For instance, the charges for non-maintenance of QAB in metro centre will now stand reduced upto Rs 50 per quarter instead of Rs 50 per month.
It may be noted that that the SBI garnered through fines was more than lender's net profit of Rs 1,581.55 crore in July-September quarter and almost half of the Rs 3,586 crore profit in April-September period.
SBI had earlier revised the minimum account balance for its savings accounts, as well as the penalties for non-maintenance of minimum balance. According to the bank's revised charges, the charges are Rs 100 plus taxes.
As per the current rule of SBI minimum required balance, the customer must have to maintain a minimum balance of Rs. 3000, Rs. 2000, Rs. 1000 according to their areas which is divided into three categories as urban, semi-urban & rural area and the same follows monthly. The amount was also almost half of the Rs 3,586 crore the bank earned as net profit from April to September.
While between April and October, the MAB was Rs 5,000 for metro accounts which was brought down to Rs 3,000 per account. Customers will have to pay GST over and above the fine they have incurred.
The MAB for urban SBI customers remains unchanged, as does the penalty for its non-maintenance. For rural areas, the penalty ranges from Rs 20-50 plus service tax. The SBI, after a gap of six years, had reintroduced the monthly average balance (MAB) charges from April 1, 2017.
SBI has kept the penalties for rural customers similar to that of its semi-urban clients, at Rs 20 (for MAB between Rs 999 and Rs 500), Rs 30 (for MAB between Rs 499 and Rs 250), and Rs 40 (for MAB at Rs 249 or less).