Under pressure from the government, State Bank of India is understood to be reviewing its minimum balance requirement which is currently Rs 3,000 in urban centers.
The bank is also changing the requirement from monthly average balance to quarterly average balance. The move follows reports that the bank made Rs 1,772 crore in fees by imposing penalties for nonmaintenance of minimum balance between April and November 2017.
According to sources, the bank is looking at bringing down the minimum balance requirement to around Rs 1,000 but is yet to take a call. SBI had originally increased the minimum balance requirement to Rs 5,000 in June. However, following public backlash the bank brought down the minimum balance requirement to Rs 3,000 in metros, Rs 2,000 in semi-urban and Rs 1,000 in rural centres. At that time the bank also did away with the minimum balance requirement for minors and pensioners and reduced penal charges. The penalties which ranged from Rs 25 to Rs 100 were lowered to Rs 20-50 range (excluding GST).