RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, India

SBI eyes new clients by waiving minimum balance for savings accounts

The State Bank of India has done away with minimum balance criteria for saving banks account in order toattract new customers.

Thus the bank will not levy any charge for breaching minimum balance criteria.

The facility is available to existing customers also, the SBI announced.

For the normal SBI savings account with cheque book facility, a customer had to maintain a minimum balance ofRs 1,000 in his or her account failing which it attracted penalty.

On the other hand, the minimum balance requirement for savings bank account of private sector bank like ICICIBank, and HDFC Bank is Rs 10,000. This is for an individual having account in any branch in a metro centre.

Failing to maintain minimum average monthly balance in ICICI Bank attracts a fine of Rs 250 per month for themetro region.

In case of savings bank account with foreign banks like Citibank, the minimum average monthly balance criteriaRs 25,000 for metro centres.

The waiver would help the bank in improving customer base, an official said, adding, it will also help the bank inc generating low cost deposits as the savings bank account earns interest rate of just 4 per cent.

As of March 2012, SBI had 15.39 crore saving banks accounts. During 2011-12, the bank opened 2.19 crore suchaccounts.

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